Issue 70 - 02 | Renting the Dream: Housing in America After the Great Reset

By Richard Florida
Published May 5, 2010 4:00 p.m.
“We’ve reached the limits of what George W. Bush used to call the 'ownership society.' Owning your own home made sense when people could hope to hold a job for most or all of their lives. But in an economy that revolves around mobility and flexibility, a house that can’t be sold becomes an economic trap, preventing people from moving freely to economic opportunity.

Not only has that piece of the American Dream grown dark, but it’s also clear that financial excess in the housing sector was one of the central causes of the economic crisis. Housing sucked up far too much of the nation’s and the world’s capital, and too many people—already overextended by the purchase of outsized houses—used those homes like virtual ATMs to finance carefree consumption. Every Great Reset has seen our system of housing change, and this one is no different. The rate of home ownership has been on the decline for some time now. Many of those who still choose to buy homes will choose smaller ones, while many more will opt for rental housing.”

About Richard Florida | Richard Florida is Director of the Martin Prosperity Institute and Professor of Business and Creativity at the Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto, and one of the world’s leading public intellectuals on economic competitiveness, demographic trends, and cultural and technological innovation. Previously, Florida has held professorships at George Mason University and Carnegie Mellon University, and taught as a visiting professor at Harvard and MIT. His research provides unique, data-driven insight into the social, economic and demographic factors that drive the twenty-first century world economy.

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