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Federal National Mortgage Association

High cost of homeownership

High cost of homeownership

As the five-year anniversary of the Lehman Bros. bankruptcy and the collapse of the mortgage market approaches, Americans are still struggling to cope with the consequences of the Great Recession. More than 4 million households have lost their homes to foreclosure. Millions of breadwinners are still out of work. Meanwhile, households have seen an estimated $2 trillion in wealth evaporate.

Pundits and politicians have spent nearly five years pointing fingers, but too few have questioned the root cause of the crisis: a deeply held belief that Americans should own their own homes and that the government should help make that dream possible.

Founding Fathers like Thomas...