Voices on the Issue: It’s Time for Home Opportunity

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Dramatic developments this month have underscored our nation’s progress, as well as our continuing peril, when it comes to Home Opportunity—the deeply held idea that everyone should have access to an affordable home under fair conditions. These developments, both positive and negative, should inform the national choices ahead, including in the presidential race.


Don’t Quit the Dream: A Vision for Homeownership Beyond 2012

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This article originally appeared on Home for Good 

In polls, voters often identify the troubled state of the economy as their top concern. Most economists agree that housing remains the biggest drag on our recovery. Eleven million homeowners owe more than their home is worth. That’s 11 million people who are keeping themselves out of the consumer economy. Some of this is a good thing; people are paying down their debt and padding their savings. But for most, that negative equity looms large over the family finances. Not only is household consumption down, but families are delaying purchases of major goods that drive our economy, such as cars and houses.


Americans Have Long Called for Legal Status for "Dreamers:" Public Opinion Round-Up

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Photo courtesy of Antonio Villaraigosa

President Obama came a step closer to the wishes of the American people when he announced earlier today that his administration will stop deporting undocumented immigrants 30 years old or younger, who came to the U.S. as children. Those immigrants who qualify will also be allowed to apply for a work permit and thus, contribute to society more fully.


Millennials are more accepting of immigrants and less supportive of Arizona's profiling law: public opinion round-up

Judi Lerman contributed to the analysis of the research discussed in this piece.

Millennials, generally defined as those born after 1980, are the the most racially and ethnically diverse generation in our nation’s history. They are different than their elders in several ways, including that they interact more with people of differing races and ethnicities and are significantly more supportive and accepting of immigrants.


Raiding Opportunity

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The ink’s barely dry on the historic settlement of “robo-signing” and other abusive foreclosure practices by five big banks. But, already, some states are raiding the settlement funds to finance activities having nothing to do with preventing foreclosures or preserving homeownership. Their actions are a second slap in the face to millions of Americans who were wronged by lender misconduct and inadequate consumer protections. They are unjust, shortsighted, and, quite possibly, illegal.


What You Just Said Hurts My Head

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We’re all familiar with the feeling of cognitive dissonance, when suddenly we’re forced to hold two contradicting ideas in our heads. Maybe we’ve just heard unflattering news about someone we respected, or have been presented with facts that challenge a deeply held worldview. As any communications expert will tell you, we tend to deal with this kind of dissonance by simply rejecting the new information as incorrect, unreliable, or purposefully misleading.


No More Excuses on Relief to American Homeowners

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Read also: Home Opportunity Initiative

One by one, the excuses have fallen. Yet Edward DeMarco, acting head of FHFA, the agency that runs Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, still fails to offer the most effective relief available to American homeowners struggling with mortgages held by those entities. Economists, housing experts, and members of DeMarco’s own staff have concluded that reducing to affordable levels the principal owed on at-risk mortgages is effective in reducing foreclosures and their destructive fallout. But, inexplicably, he’s been unmoved by the mounting evidence.


Quick and Smart Facts: Americans' Views on Marriage Equality and LGBT rights

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Views on rights for LGBT people have changed drastically in as little as a single decade. Below, I have summed up overall trends in Americans' atittudes on the issue and the affect of race, gender, age, and religion on these attitudes—based on an in-depth meta-analysis of related public opinion published by The Opportunity Agenda earlier this year.


The Negative Influence of Reality TV on Teenage Girls

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Many of us may have conversed around the water cooler about the provocative behavior that is displayed on some reality TV shows. It’s like junk food: we love it and we know it’s bad for us, but we—and our children—watch anyway. You might say that it’s a parent’s duty to steer a child in the right direction; however, with loads of technology available at our fingertips on a variety of devices, it can be next to impossible to shield a child from junk TV. Reality TV is popular entertainment that may be having an impact on teenage girls, making it seem that the impertinent verbal exchanges and sometimes violent confrontations displayed heavily on reality TV shows such as Basketball Wives and Real Housewives of Atlanta are normal and desirable forms of behavior.


Opportunity Impact Statement: Ensuring an Economy that Works

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Americans prioritize finding solutions for our economy and job creation, and it is clear that we need an economy that works for all of us. This means building the jobs and the infrastructure that will create equal opportunities for success for all Americans. In order to make smart and necessary decisions about how and where we spend our money, we need to evaluate the impact of spending, while also honoring our commitment to avoid engaging in discrimination.


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