A study on the sociological effects of homeownership in California by two faculty members of the Cal State San Bernardino Department of Economics has been given a top prize by a national homebuilders group.“California Homeownership and Sociological Factors,” written by Daniel MacDonald and Yasemin Dildar, assistant professors of economics, was awarded the 2017 Best Local Government Affairs Effort in the Government Affairs category by the National Association for Home Builders. The winning study, which was among 120 entries nationwide, was commissioned by the Building Industry Association of Southern California, Baldy View Chapter. The award was given to the BIA chapter’s leadership, including CEO Carlos Rodriguez, for their efforts in funding and disseminating the study as part of their advocacy.“Recent initiatives for more funding or to loosen supply restrictions at the state and local levels (such as SB-827) are fueled by a need to solve the social problems generated by declining homeownership rates in California,” MacDonald and Dildar said. “Because of our research findings, anti-development interest groups like NIMBYs (‘Not In My Back Yard’) are being increasingly forced to defend a position that is at odds with a vibrant and safe community.”The report, published in 2017, took data on homeownership from each county in California and analyzed its relationship to sociological outcomes such as health, educational attainment, inequality, crime and poverty. It found that, on average, and after accounting for other factors such as unemployment and demographics (minority population size, age distribution, and family structure), counties with higher homeownership rates have significantly higher high school graduation rates, lower crime rates (both violent and property crime), and reduced poverty rates.It also found that the positive relationships between high school graduation rates and homeownership are stronger for minority groups (Hispanics/Latinos and African-Americans), lending weight to the claim that increased homeownership among minority groups can help narrow socioeconomic disparities and improve economic opportunities.In an editorial by The Sun not long after the report was published, the newspaper wrote the report “gives the (state’s housing) crisis a social justice dimension by focusing on sociological aspects of home ownership and overcrowding.”And citing the report’s findings, the editorial concluded, “What does all this mean? That it’s important for government at all levels to do whatever it can to encourage home building by removing any obstacles it can. … We need more housing. It’s good for California, it’s good for Californians and, as the professors found, it’s good for social justice.”For more information on Cal State San Bernardino, contact the university’s Office of Strategic Communication at (909) 537-5007 and visit inside.csusb.edu