The American Dream of Homeownership is Under Attack

The American Dream of Homeownership is Under Attack

In a growing number of cities and counties across our great state, the very officials who campaign on limited government are taking bureaucracy to new heights (or lows).  Zoning should be used for lot size, population density, and land use, but local bureaucrats have found a way to take that legitimate tool of government to near-Orwellian levels by jumping into the realm of home design.  If you’ve ever heard the phrase “I’m from the government and I’m here to help,” you’ll understand why this new role of local government should be of concern.

To respond to this recent encroachment of government control over your home, The Georgia REALTORS are supporting HB 302.  HB 302 protects homeowners and potential homeowners from the overstep of government into their lives. It restricts local governments from sidestepping the rules and using zoning instead of going through the appropriate steps of amending the building codes.  It allows communities to grow and young families to be able to purchase their first homes and not be forced into being perpetual renters. It brings the American dream of homeownership within reach of more citizens, not just the ones local officials think deserve to be homeowners.  Through homeownership, our communities become more grounded and stable.

Local officials looking only at their tax base see nothing wrong with artificially increasing the cost of home construction through imposing their design standards on communities.  These government imposed design standards account for nearly a quarter of the cost of these houses. Basically, they are forcing the average citizen to struggle to afford that additional cost, live beyond their means, or simply continue to rent.  These same local governments are often the same ones that are decrying the need for affordable housing. Many are looking to government solutions to address that concern. Basically, it is nothing more than a redistribution; creating more expensive homes for those that can afford them while simultaneously subsidizing affordable rents onto those that may otherwise have desired to be able to own a home.  Georgia, at 61% homeownership is at the low end nationwide and even among our neighbor states. With other states having already adopted measures similar to HB 302 having a higher homeownership ratio than Georgia, do we want to keep sinking farther behind only because of who local officials decide get to own a home?

Homeownership creates stability.  It helps to build wealth. If we want our communities to be strong and prosperous in 25 years, we don’t need government dictating a singular design standard now, we need to see more citizens in our communities becoming homeowners; building wealth; establishing strong roots that only homeownership can provide.

If you believe in the American dream of homeownership and you don’t want big brother telling you what home looks best for you, support HB 302.  Let your local government officials know that architects design houses, not bureaucrats. Your home is YOUR castle, not THEIR vision.