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Grant number: FT-60622-13

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Mark Edward Santow
University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth (North Dartmouth, MA 02747-2300)

A History of Home Ownership in Modern America

Since 1945, the percentage of Americans who own their own homes has nearly doubled, reaching 70% by 2004. No post-war social phenomenon has been as critical for social mobility, economic growth, the use of metropolitan space, and political re-alignment as home ownership. Nearly 1/4 of the economy is tied up in residential investment, housing consumption and housing-related expenditures. Most of the wealth possessed by American families is in the form of housing equity. The spatial expression of home ownership is a blunt physical reminder of the nation's history of racial inequality, too, as well as a reproducer of that inequality. It may have also played a role in bringing the economy to the brink of collapse in 2008. Somewhat surprisingly, there is no synthetic account of the expansion of home ownership, the political discourse surrounding it, and its connections to larger economic and political changes. My project seeks to provide it.

Project fields:
U.S. History

Summer Stipends

Research Programs

Total amounts:
$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2013 – 8/31/2013