By Silla Brush - 08/18/10 12:00 AM EDT
A revamp of federal housing policy should "stop this assumption" that every U.S. citizen should own a home, Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) said Tuesday.
"Not everybody can or should be a homeowner," Frank said on Fox Business Network. "I think we should particularly stop this assumption that you put everybody into home ownership ... we have public policy [that] has been too much to try and push people into home ownership."
Frank is a longtime supporter of affordable housing initiatives and rental housing programs.
Frank's comments came after a conference on the future of the nation's housing finance system and potential ways to reform Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the mortgage giants bailed out by taxpayers in 2008 with nearly $150 billion. Homeownership rates rose significantly from 1985 until 2004, but have been declining steadily since to a current level of 66.9 percent, according to the Commerce Department.
The Obama administration and Congress is beginning to turn its attention to how to change the system as the housing market continues to struggle with mounting foreclosures.