In the debate on the Federal Housing Administration's role in encouraging homeownership, three issues are paramount: Who needs help buying a house? How should the federal government's assistance be structured? And what effect does this have on taxpayers?

If expanding homeownership is a national goal, then we should direct the government's limited resources toward the segment of the market that needs help the most: lower-income first-time homebuyers. While nearly 90% of U.S. households that earn more than $50,000 a year own homes, less than half making under $20,000 own homes.

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