American Views Abroad

Monday, February 16, 2009
Germany is basically a country of renters rathen than house owners. Hamburg, for example, has an array of not-for-profit building associations and people who sign up can, after a waiting period, find a good, decent apartment rather inexpensively, certainly compared to many parts of the US. This is particularly interesting for young people looking to get out on their own and the elderly. People here have never be hounded by the idea that buying a house should be a top priority. Thus it was very interesting to read an interview with urban theorist Richard Florida in The Atlantic.

In The Great Reset he states: And I think we're going to have to figure out ways not to reflate housing prices but to make housing much more affordable. It seems to me that maybe people should be spending no more than 20 percent of their income on housing and related durable goods. How are we going to grow if people are forced to spend the largest share of their income on this product that isn't really contributing to economic growth? And how we shift to much more rental housing could be part of that conversation.

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