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A comparison of renters and homeowners in recent decades

April 12, 2021



Housing policies over the past several decades have overwhelmingly benefited owners with mortgages instead of renters. In this piece, the authors examine the historical reasons for inequities in the housing market, who rents and who owns, how this has changed over time, and the policies to help renters and owners with mortgages. As a share of total household expenditures, rents have skyrocketed in comparison to mortgage interest payments since the Great Recession. In addition, housing expenditures are a significant burden for the lowest income groups.