Long-Term Lease as an Alternative to Home Ownership: A Proposal

G. Graham Waite, The Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law


Home ownership has long been a prime element of the American dream. Following the recent recession, there is currently a nationwide boom in the construction and sale of single-family housing units. However, it has been reported that a significant number of prospective first-home buyers are unable to buy because housing prices are rising faster than incomes. Some families have been able to buy homes only by changing their living patterns significantly. While it may be questioned whether the current financial squeeze on home buyers is worse today than in the past, it appears to be severe enough5 to make exploration of ownership alternatives appropriate.

This essay suggests that the long-term lease be utilized to bring many of the amenities of living in a detached, single-family dwelling within reach of persons who presently find the purchase of such a home prohibitive.