Churches Aiding Housing Recovery

In times of difficulty the Church must take up where the secular has failed. The housing crisis strikes at the very core of the American Dream. What can the Church, church leaders and church members do to help?

THE SITUATION: It’s just common sense that we can’t count on the same entities who helped cause the housing crisis to solve the housing crisis. Currently, about 12 million homeowners are underwater on their mortgages. In states such as Nevada, Arizona, and Florida—roughly half of all mortgage borrowers are underwater on their loans. The total negative equity in underwater homes approaches $700 billion, according to the Fed. The Government has tried to help the housing market by pouring trillions of dollars into ailing banks and corporations in the hopes that these institutions, on firmer financial footing, would pass along the benefits to average consumers through generous lending. This doesn’t seem to be working.

The National Association of Realtors has a campaign which proclaims, “for first time in generations, the dream of homeownership is being threatened… Realtors® are here to represent you and protect homeownership.” In the ad they don’t tell us how it’s being threatened or how NAR plans to protect us, however what should get our attention is for a change they are steering away from the usual cheerful optimism. Realtors® are where the rubber meets the road. If Realtors® truly want to protect homeownership they are in the perfect position to help.  One of our goals is to coach real estate professionals in a way that they can earn more money through the use of technology and efficient business practices to help lead us out of this housing crisis.

If you study history you will see the major causes leading up to the housing bubble was: 1) the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act (GSA) and the enactment of the Gramm-Leach-Wiley Act which encouraged high stakes securities gambling. 2) the exemption on capital gains tax which encouraged a house flipping mentality. 3) The 2004 decision by the Treasury and the Federal Reserve changed the Banking  Reserve Requirement from 15:1 to 35:1 which permitted too much leverage.

However, those are the outer reasons. There is a deeper cause. We maintain the core reason the real estate market’s in the state it’s in is because the spiritual purpose of a home has been forgotten. A house is not an ATM. It’s not to flip for quick cash. It’s not an easy borrow against. It’s not a liquid investment. A house is a place to live and raise a family in for years, if not generations to come. The “homeownership threat” is going to continue to be real as long as the masses buy into a get rich quick mentality where real estate is concerned. Robert G. Allen and Carlton Sheets, and the likes, have enjoyed such success with their “no money down” infomercials not because the market changed. They were finally taken seriously because society’s view of real estate had changed.

Commuter marriages are destroying many families. Postponed parenthood. Population control policy. Diminished community social connections.

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