This symposium contribution examines the starkly different values reflected in traditional legal literature on foreclosure law reform in the U.S. as compared to some more recent entries in the wake of the rise of subprime lending and high rates of residential mortgage default. I highlight economist Dean Baker’s “right to rent” proposal, which would give former homeowners leasehold rights at market rates, to illustrate a more progressive set of housing policy considerations and to challenge the assumption that ownership is essential or optimal to promoting various housing objectives.

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