Central-City Housing Conservation: A Mortgage Insurance Approach

by Kenneth Phillips, Michael Teitz



The need for effective national policy to foster housing conservation as well as production is manifest. Single-focus programs such as housing allowances are likely to be too costly on a large scale and too subject to operational and legal constraints and inhibitions resulting from uncertainty of funding. A strategy that allows local areas to initiate and develop conservation programs that are suited to local conditions will have the best chance of working. Such a strategy will require resources and institutional support. In part, community development revenue sharing may come to provide the former. For the latter, mortgage insurance,. whether under Section 223(f) of the U.S. National Housing Act added in 1974 or state programs, could be an important element. Urban development and government housing policy in the U.S. have arrived at a point of change and decision. After thirty years of programs intended to address housing needs by stimulating new construction, issues of maintenance and conservation of the existing housing stock are increasingly coming to occupy center stage at national, state and local policy levels.

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