HOUSING: Inflation Nightmare

Willie Roberts, a 38-year-old chef who owns a small house on Chicago's West Side, recently decided to buy a bigger home for his wife and four children. He applied to a savings and loan association for a new mortgage—but in the three weeks he waited for the deal to be closed, the down payment jumped from 10% to 25% and the closing costs from 4.5% to 11%. Roberts could not meet those terms, so his family is still living in cramped quarters.

For millions of Americans from Maine to California, the cherished dream...

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