Homeownership Symposium: Agenda

Symposium Information

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Symposium Flyer

Thursday, May 16: Ventana Room, UA Student Union

9:30—10:00  Introductions

  • Javier Duran, Director of the Confluencenter for Creative Inquiry
  • Al Bergeson, Head of the UA School of Sociology

10:00--12:00  American Mortgages in Historical and Comparative Perspective 

This session will consider the particularities of American mortgages by presenting alternative perspectives across place and time.

  • 10:00—10:30 Sociologist Jane Zavisca will compare consumers’ perceptions of homeownership in the US with other nations where homeownership is seen as following rather than preceding the taking on of mortgage debt.
  • 10:30—11:00 Historian Louis Hyman will trace changes in lending institutions that made the contemporary mortgage system possible, by transforming debt from a personal relationship to a market relationship.
  • 11:00—11:15: Break/Networking
  • 11:15—12:00: Panel and audience discussion

12:00—1:30  Lunch break 

(lunch on your own- numerous options in Student Union)

1:303:30  Effects of Homeownership in the Context of Financial Insecurity 

Homeownership may have beneficial effects ranging from wealth accumulation to psychological wellbeing. But do these benefits accrue when ownership is insecure?

  • 1:30—2:00 Sociologist Kim Manturuk will discuss the relationship between homeownership and outcomes such as health, social capital, and civic participation, and then present new research on how financial insecurity attenuates such effects.
  • 2:00—2:30 Robert Manning, President of the Responsible Debt Relief Institute, will discuss how insecure ownership can have negative effects on wealth and community, and argue for alternative models of affordable investment over the life cycle.
  • 2:30—2:45: Break/Networking
  • 2:45—3:30: Panel and audience discussion

Friday, May 17: Kiva Room, UA Student Union

10:00-12:00 Making Homeownership Affordable 

Minority and low-income groups face persistent barriers to homeownership. This session will discuss these barriers and attempts to redress them.

  • 10:00—10:30: Sociologist Eileen Diaz McConnell will review issues of affordability and homeownership, with a focus on Latinos.
  • 10:30—11:00 Economist Andra Ghent will examine the effects (or lack thereof) of affordable housing legislation on the subprime boom.
  • 11:00—11:15: Break/Networking
  • 11:15—12:00: Panel and Audience Discussion

12:00—1:30  Lunch break 

(lunch on your own- numerous options in Student Union)

1:30-3:30 When Homeownership Fails 

The ongoing rise in foreclosures highlights the risks inherent in mortgage-based ownership. This session will discuss both personal and institutional responses to distressed homeownership.

  • 1:30—2:00: Political scientist Elizabeth Strom will present new research on the effects of foreclosure on individuals and communities in Florida, and evaluate policy responses such as neighborhood stabilization funds.
  • 2:00—2:30 Law professor Brent White will analyze the phenomenon of underwater mortgages and examine why more homeowners don’t “walk away,” even when it is in their economic interests to do so.
  • 2:30—2:45: Break/Networking
  • 2:45—3:30: Panel and Audience Discussion