Homeownership is an iconic piece of the American dream, long seen as key to stable housing and wealth accumulation. The U.S. government promotes homeownership, but its support has not led to equal access. Historically, some policies fostered housing segregation and racial bias in lending and appraisal — problems that persist today. Appraisal bias can burden LGBTQ+ homeowners too, and there is evidence of a gender gap in selling prices. A generational gap has emerged, with younger buyers priced out, debt-burdened or competing with investors more than previous generations were. With supply low, prices high and stark wealth gaps, some argue for more homebuilding, some for expanded homebuyer assistance and some for race-conscious solutions to counter discrimination. But critics say a rush to build will destroy ...

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