No Place Like Home: Wealth, Community and the Politics of Homeownership
In the decade following the housing crisis, Americans remain enthusiastic about the prospect of owning a home. We are deeply committed to an ideology of homeownership that presents homeownership as a tool for building stronger communities and crafting better citizens. But in No Place Like Home, I argue that these beliefs about the public benefits of homeownership are deeply mischaracterized. As owning a home has emerged as the most important way to build wealth in the United States, it has also reshaped the way citizens become involved in their communities. No Place Like Home shows that homeowners often engage in their communities as a way to protect their property values, rather than emerging as civic-minded stewards of community life. This involvement contributes to the politics of exclusion, prevents particular citizens from gaining access to high-opportunity neighborhoods, and reinforces patterns of residential segregation.