Republicans Pass Party Platform Emphasizing Homeownership

ST. PAUL—The pomp in St. Paul today may have been blown aside by Hurricane Gustav, but the Republicans have passed their party platform for the next four years, spelling out the G.O.P’s approach to a huge array of issues. Among those issues is housing, for which the Republicans want to further emphasize homeownership. From the platform:

“Republican policy aims to make owning a home more accessible through enforcement of open housing laws, voucher programs, urban homesteading and – what is most important – a strong economy with low interest rates.”

Of course, one interpretation of the recent foreclosure crisis is that homeownership became too prevalent, and many families overreached with subprime loans, owning houses they could never really afford. While the platform lacks many specifics, the Republicans seem to acknowledge this, saying that government action shouldn’t “implicitly encourage” anyone to buy beyond their means.

Overall, the few paragraphs that spell out the party’s approach to housing policy take a free-market approach, in contrast to the Democrats, who seem to have emphasized more new standards and affordable housing efforts in the platform they passed last week.

More from the G.O.P.:

“Government interference in the markets exacerbates problems in the marketplace and causes the free market to take longer to correct itself. We believe in the free market as the best tool to sustained prosperity and opportunity for all. We encourage potential buyers to work in concert with the lending community to educate themselves about the responsibilities of purchasing a home, condo, or land.”

Republicans Pass Party Platform Emphasizing Homeownership