National Homeownership Month is in June. It celebrates the value that owning a home brings to families, communities, and neighborhoods across America. By becoming a homeowner, people get a step closer to the American dream. This month also shares the joys of being a homeowner, which can encourage others to achieve the same thing.
History of National Homeownership Month
Most Americans had no way of really owning a home in the 1800s. Mortgages became common only after the U.S. banking system came into being after the 1860s National Bank Acts.
During the time of the Great Depression, the banks did not have any money to lend and the average borrower didn’t have any cash. As a result, people couldn’t afford to buy homes, while existing homeowners often failed to pay their debt. To stabilize the housing market, the U.S. government created the Home Owners’ Loan Corporation in 1933, the Federal Housing Administration in 1934, and the Federal National Mortgage Association (now known as Fannie Mae) in 1938. All these institutions took homeownership to new heights and helped prevent a crash in the housing market.
What changed the face of the housing industry, along with that of the American economy, was the G.I. Bill of 1944. This bill provided subsidized mortgages for the veterans of World War II. Another milestone in the history of American housing came when Congress passed the Fair Housing Act of 1968. The Act was signed by President Lyndon B. Johnson and banned discrimination in housing based on religion, race, gender, and national origin. It came into being only a few days after the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.
In its 87 years of existence, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) has saved America an almost $4 trillion loss of household wealth. It has helped more than 44 million citizens to become homeowners.
National Homeownership Week began in 1995, which was a strategy of the administration under President Bill Clinton to increase homeownership across America. Later, in 2002, President George W. Bush expanded the period of observance from a week to the entire month of June. National Homeownership Month reinforces the belief that owning a home is one of the steps towards achieving the American dream.
National Homeownership Month timeline
Abraham Lincoln signs the Homestead Act that gives the head of each American household the right to claim a 160-acre homestead if they want to build a home on the land and farm on it.
The decennial census is introduced and is the first bill in American homeownership history that asks basic housing questions, particularly, whether a person owns or rents.
Own Your Own Home, a public relations campaign is launched by the National Association of Real Estate Boards and becomes the first federal program (after being taken over by the U.S. Department of Labor) to encourage homeownership.
For the first time in American history, more than half of all Americans own their homes.
National Homeownership Month FAQs
How many homeowners were in the U.S. in 2020?
In 2020, the homeownership rate (proportion of households occupied by the owner) in the United States was 65.8%.
Do Millennials buy houses?
Most millennials rent. In fact, with time, more and more millennials are planning to rent forever. 69% of millennials said that they opted for renting because they can’t afford to buy a house.
What is the average age of first-time homebuyers in the U.S.?
34 years. Since buying a home is one of the costliest decisions, if not THE costliest decision, in the life of a person, the average age of a first-time home-buyer in America is 34 years.
How to Celebrate National Homeownership Month
Showcase local projects to officials
Invite local officials, be it virtually or in person, to your area. Show them or let them know about the latest housing developments that are using eco-friendly building techniques and other new technologies.
Educate local home buyers
Organize a housing forum (virtually or in-person) to bring together the public and housing experts to talk about the state of housing in your locality. It can be an economist from a nearby college, a mortgage banker, or a realtor.
Get your community involved
Organize or participate in a community service project. Help build a shelter, host a donation venture, repair a playground, and carry out other similar acts that benefit your community.
5 Facts About Homeownership That You Didn’t Know
The burden of cost persists
One-third of America’s 119 million households are cost-burdened, which puts more than 30% of their incomes towards housing charges and costs.
Pay for housing
The average American family spends $1,573.83 on housing expenses every month as stated by the 2016 Consumer Expenditure Survey.
Equal then, more now
If the rate of black homeownership today was the same as it was in 2000, there would be 770,000 more black homeowners in America.
More dropouts than graduates?
Homeownership in the U.S. is less for a black college graduate than for a white high school dropout.
An average-sized move
In 2019, the average distance between the owned home and the newly purchased home of an American was 15 miles.
Why National Homeownership Month is Important
It’s for a better future
Homeownership expands your options for the future. You can plan to sell and make a profit or leverage your home equity and pay for other big expenses.
It’s for the benefit of a community
Homeownership is closely tied to the economy. When home sales rise, jobs go up too. And together, these forces contribute to a stable economy on the local-, state-, and national level.
It’s for a sense of belonging
Homeownership gets a person more invested in their community. Getting involved in activities and volunteering for charity and other events adds to a sense of belonging that is much greater than for a person who is just renting.
National Homeownership Month dates