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Publication Date

October 2007


Allison Freeman, Jong-Gyu Paik, Michael A. Stegman


Ford Foundation

Researchers analyze the wealth of low- and moderate-income renters and homeowners, analyze the impact of homeownership on wealth creation and discuss implications for policy.

Little is known about the relationship between housing tenure and the wealth of low- and moderate-income (LMI) households; even less is known about the composition of the asset portfolios of lower-income homeowners and renters and the factors associated with portfolio differences.

This paper helps to fill this information gap. It explores wealth differences across a sample of LMI households who bought homes with mortgages originated by lenders who participated in Self-Help’s Secondary Market Program (SMP) and a comparable sample of LMI renters.

The paper has two main sections. In the first part, the authors explore the wealth of LMI renter and owner households, employing regression analysis to model the likelihood of panel members’ holding various assets and debts.

The second section of the paper concentrates on the owners in the SMP panel, analyzing how homeownership has affected the wealth of this group of LMI first-time homebuyers.

The paper concludes with a brief discussion of the policy considerations flowing from the analysis.


Topics(s): Affordable Homeownership, Mortgage Finance, Savings & Asset-Building