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Current path threatens to create “a nation of renters”

Washington, D.C. – Changing demographics, a financial services industry trending away from community-based lending and a skittish regulatory climate threaten a future mismatch between the mainstream mortgage credit market and demand, UNC Center for Community Capital Director Roberto G. Quercia told a national mortgage group Tuesday.

“How are we going to bridge that mismatch? Are we going to let a lightly regulated market serve the credit needs of most Americans? We tried that already. It is called the subprime debacle. Are we going to become a nation of renters instead?” Quercia said.

Speaking to a meeting of Fannie Mae’s Affordable Housing Advisory Council, Quercia recounted research findings that debunk the myth that the foreclosure crisis stemmed from efforts to expand homeownership to low- and moderate-income families. He cautioned against misguided strategies that threaten to undermine rather than promote broad access to quality mortgage products.

Quercia is an expert in mortgage finance and co-author of Regaining the Dream: How to Renew the Promise of Homeownership for America’s Working Families. Written with co-authors Allison Freeman, center senior research associate, and Janneke Ratcliffe, executive director, the new book examines the real causes of the foreclosure crisis and describes research-based strategies for how to rebuild a sustainable U.S. housing finance system.

His presentation is available online at

Housing finance is a key area of study for the UNC Center for Community Capital, the leading center for research and policy analysis on the transformative power of capital on households and communities in the United States. The center is part of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Its in-depth analyses help policymakers, advocates and the private sector find sustainable ways to expand economic opportunity to more people, more effectively. For more information, visit or call (919) 843-2140.

Topics(s): Affordable Homeownership, Mortgage Finance
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