Mayor Dickert is just the latest of folks who mistakenly elevate the importance of home ownership. Home ownership is definitely correlated with good stuff like reduced crime. Study after study is cited to prove the correlation. The mistake is to conclude that government should try to see to it that people should own homes. I think I can best make this argument via example.
I have an idea that is way better than home ownership. Cow ownership. Cows are cheaper than homes so government subsidy or outright purchase of cows for Racine residents will save lots of money.
Let us consider cow owners. I have no study to cite, but I suspect that cow owners break the law (with the possible exception of bestiality) at a lower rate than your average homeowner, not to mention renters. Cow owners have jobs and work longer hours than the public at large. Compared to non-cow owners, cow owners tend to stay in the same home for several generations in a row, adding stability to cow owning neighborhoods. Cow owners do well in school, have jobs, don't commit crimes, all while owning homes. I am sure there are other societal benefits to cow ownership that I haven't even considered, oh like milk. Can a house feed a family?
Let's face it. Cow ownership is much better for society than home ownership. But even if you are skeptical, realize that cow owners also own homes. So if your goal is home ownership for Racine residents, it will be far wiser and cheaper to buy a cow for every Racine resident. Then sit back and watch the unemployment and crime rates drop to zero, while the graduation and home ownership rates climb towards 100%.