'Great Reset' Argues Against 'House Passion' Urban thinker Richard Florida agrees that owning a home is not always better than renting. In his new book The Great Reset, Florida quotes an economist who believes "America needs to get over its house passion." Florida talks to Steve Inskeep about new ways to live and work post-recession.
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'Great Reset' Argues Against 'House Passion'

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'Great Reset' Argues Against 'House Passion'

'Great Reset' Argues Against 'House Passion'

'Great Reset' Argues Against 'House Passion'

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Urban thinker Richard Florida agrees that owning a home is not always better than renting. In his new book The Great Reset, Florida quotes an economist who believes "America needs to get over its house passion." Florida talks to Steve Inskeep about new ways to live and work post-recession.

W: What does that mean?

M: You want to fix it up the way you want to. You want to put the paint colors that you adore. But still, in many, many case, it just makes much better sense to leave home ownership alone. And at least now, during this time of economic instability, it may be better for many, many people to rent.

: Mr. Florida, there's another angle to this. We're talking about what makes sense for the individual. There's also the question of what makes sense for the country. It's been presumed that it is better for cities, better for urban areas, better for the country at large if there's greater home ownership. Is that true?

M: So, I mean I'm a big fan of ownership. I own my own house. I think if you can afford it and you love it, you should do it. But on balance, we may have tipped the scales a little bit too far in terms of home ownership. And certainly, we're finding that all of the things that we associated as great economic outcomes associated with homeownership, may not be as compelling.

: Does it also make me less mobile?

M: Boy, oh boy, if folks are trapped in their homes - they can't get out; they can't sell them; they can't recoup their investment; they can't move - the long-term cost for them - as individual and families, for cities, but most importantly for the U.S. economy as a whole - I think that's really the thing that our president and our policymakers need to take into consideration.

: OK. Well, there's still this gigantic infrastructure of federal policies, federal agencies and tax subsidies that favor homeownership. Would you change some of that?

M: Well, I think the pressure is mounting to change it. And I think we're going to have to invent new modes of rental housing, rental housing that's better, that's more upscale. I think in a more flexible mobile economy, where very few of us have the great good fortune to have a job for life, where many more of us have to be mobile not only within our town but given this reset, perhaps we're going to have to move to where economic opportunity is emerging. I think in that sense, rental makes a lot more sense for a lot more people. And it's more than just a financial calculation.

: Thanks very much.

M: Thank you, Steve, and thanks for having me on.

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