Reforming private housing finance: evaluating the achievements of the Clinton Administration

Taylor and Francis (Routledge)
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Housing Studies, 2005, 20 (4), pp. 665 - 678
Issue Date:
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The financial infrastructure of guarantees, insurance and regulation that underpins US housing markets is an important federal policy tool. Historically, housing policy in the US has relied much more heavily on regulating private market actors to achieve public goals, than it has on direct expenditures. But the commonalities between the US and restructured welfare states such as the UK and Canada have become more striking in recent decades. Similar dilemmas face policy makers in many settings: if homeownership is to be the centerpiece of housing policy, how do we ensure it is affordable and sustainable for those once served by a larger social housing sector? If direct expenditures are to be cut back, with what do we replace them? The story of the Clinton administration's efforts to reform the US financial infrastructure illustrates how these dilemmas have been addressed (although obviously not resolved) in a specific instance.
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