Who Can Afford the Ownership Society?

It wasn’t long ago that Bush was cooing incessantly about how he was going to create an “ownership society” and his precious tax cuts were part of that package. While he was touting how he was going to make achieving the American Dream easier, those of us with sense knew better.

Today, as Bush signed his pork-ladened Energy Bill in to law, gas prices nudged even higher than they had at the close of last week.

The American Dream is too costly in the Bush economy and the “Dream of owning home slips further from some” people’s grasp every day it seems.

Housing prices are far outstripping salary increases for low- and moderate-income jobs, putting the American dream of owning a home beyond the reach of teachers, firefighters and other community workers in many cities, said a study being released Tuesday.

The report, by a coalition advocating affordable housing, found that even cities once considered affordable, such as Tulsa, Okla., are rapidly becoming too pricey for lower-income workers such as janitors and retail sales employees.

The study found the median price of a home in the United States rose 20 percent in just 18 months, to $225,000. During the same period, wages for teachers, firefighters and nurses in most cities remained flat or increased slightly, but still fell far short of the annual salary needed to buy a home, the report from the Center for Housing Policy said.

The big question looms… when will the housing bubble burst?

A list of “the nation’s most and least affordable housing markets based on median home sales price and median household income” can be found here.

The Center for Housing Policy is the nonprofit research affiliate of the National Housing Conference, based in Washington.

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