Student debt as an inhibitor to Millennial participation in the American Dream.

New Geography is running segments of a broad-reaching analysis from the Center for Opportunity Urbanism called "America's Housing Crisis," including this discussion from generational expert Morley Winograd on the Millennial Challenge.

Winograd notes that policies alone could eliminate or sharply reduce financial obstacles that are currently hindering thirty somethings who want to start raising a family in the suburbs from buying a home, supercharging the construction and sale of as many as five million more homes between now and 2020. Winograd explores cultural issues, affordability, student debt, geographical economics, and lending policies as factors in the challenge. Here are the key take-away assertions:

Although no one is going to wave a magic wand and make student debt disappear overnight, it is possible for government to take aggressive steps to limit if not eliminate these obligations. Furthermore, easing of credit and down payment requirements would have an immediate impact on Millennials’ decision to buy a new home. More generous parental leave policies on the part of the nation’s employers, either by their own initiative or government mandate, would help accelerate the pace. And policies designed to actually grow wages and expand the economy, such as easier access to affordable higher education, would certainly help a generation struggling to put together the money they need for a down payment. Longer term policy initiatives designed to increase the supply of housing are certainly worth exploring, but the likelihood that they will be put in place in time to help the bulging number of Millennials moving into early adulthood is not high.

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