Why Home Ownership Matters
It Increases Stability Within the Community
Geographically stable households increase the stability of the community (homeowners move less than renters). This develops social ties, lasting relationships, and community involvement for an overall sense of responsibility and caring for the community. Homeowners are also interested in local environmental issues (such as recycling programs), have a higher rate of charitable activity and generally participate in voluntary organizations.
Unlike rental properties where landlords cannot always be depended on to adequately maintain rental properties, neighborhoods that predominately consist of homeowners are maintained better. With the usual exceptions, this normally leads to improved aesthetics due to lower turnover rates and a vested interest in maintaining the property owners’ investment.
Habitat for Humanity recently published data that reflects how more engaged, stable and informed communities are which are built around homeownership. For example, homeowners are 10% more likely to have worked towards solving local issues, live 4 times longer in their community than renters, are 11% more likely to know the names of their Congressional representatives, and are 15% more likely to vote.
This greater civic awareness among homeowners leads to their involvement in local issues and the political process of the community. Homeowners become more interested in local politics due to the relevance of property taxes, zoning ordinances, crime rates, etc. And the fact that they are more likely to vote results in politicians being more attentive to the concerns of those citizens. Homeowner engagement with local government provides for improvements in communities and schools, lowers crime, all of which increases property values.
By being more invested in their neighborhoods, homeowners are often proactive concerning their safety with programs (like Neighborhood Watch) and keep a close relationship with their local law enforcement. Thus, homeowner neighborhoods generally have a lower crime rate than those with ever changing rental residents.
Compared to renters, homeowners have a greater economic investment, so they are more likely to be engaged in their communities. As they put down roots, they’re investing in their communities and participating in the activities that contribute to stable, safe and better quality neighborhoods. In turn, those communities benefit from the homeowners’ desire to protect and enhance their investment.