The American Dream Goes Down With Homeownership in US

Read part one here

The reality of today's American Dream is that it's just not all that dreamy for a significant number of Americans.

It is a wishful construct of our imaginations that grows further from reality by the day for many more of us than not. As does the possibility of ever achieving the fattest slice of this American Dream pie, owning one's own home.

American Dream Dead
(Photo : Getty Images) American Dream Dead

Regardless of the many benefits of homeownership to citizens and society, the stark reality today is that the path to owning a home for the average American is an ever more difficult one.

Shortages of new housing, high prices on existing properties, rising mortgage rates, and inflation are partly to blame. But the other thing-the thing that those from the lofty heights of their pretend "castles" are loathe to discuss-is the disparity in housing security across racial and ethnic groups in America.

And such disparity shows no signs of improvement. The National Association of Realtors reported in March 2023 that people of color in the U.S. were facing "major homebuying challenges." Likewise, in December, the Washington Post reported a widening, and potentially worsening, racial homeownership gap due to new rules requiring "banks to hold on to more capital for residential mortgages." The prospect of achieving the homeownership part of the American Dream is thus further from reality for some groups of Americans-primarily those of color-than ever. Indeed, a February 1st McKinsey Institute for Black Economic Mobility study found that it could take more than 300 years at the current rate for Black Americans to achieve "racial parity" in terms of housing equality.

300 years-three centuries-is more than half-century longer than America has existed as a republic. If this is what the American Dream has become, a progressively unattainable illusion, then it should be redefined as such. "As American as apple pie, but like, only for some Americans." Or, "American Dream*Not all will qualify for the best parts in this century. Or the next. Or the one after. (LOL)." 

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