The State of the Nation's Housing 1988

Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies

America is increasingly becoming a nation of housing haves and havenots. While the majority of American homeowners are well housed and have significant equity in their homes, the prosperity of these homeowners does not reflect the plight of the nation's growing number of low- and moderate-income households. Continuing high housing costs limit the ability of low- and moderate-income households to improve their standard of living as many households struggle to secure even minimally adequate housing. Homeownership costs have eased somewhat since the early 1980s but remain high by historical standards. Young households find purchasing a first home especially difficult, as housing costs remain high relative to income.