Breaking the Double Impasse: Securing and Supporting Diverse Housing Tenures in the United States

Jake Wegmann, Alex Schafran, Deirdre Pfeiffer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


What might be described as a double impasse characterizes debate on U.S. housing tenure with advocates fighting for rental or ownership housing on one side and Third Way or mixed-tenure solutions on the other. Breaking this impasse requires disengaging from conceptions of an idealized form of tenure and instead advocating making virtually all tenures as secure and supported as possible, so that diverse households are able to live in homes that best fit their changing needs over their life cycles. This essay (a) presents data on the variety of tenures in the United States; (b) conveys a new two-dimensional map of tenure according to their degrees of control and potential for wealth-building; and (c) shows how U.S. institutions shape their risks and subsidies. Most U.S. tenures are at least somewhat risky, including those that receive the greatest federal subsidies. A new housing system is needed to secure and support as many tenures as possible.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)193-216
Number of pages24
JournalHousing Policy Debate
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 4 2017


  • Tenure
  • Third Way
  • homeownership
  • rental housing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development
  • Urban Studies
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


Dive into the research topics of 'Breaking the Double Impasse: Securing and Supporting Diverse Housing Tenures in the United States'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this