There are at least two social benefits to home ownership.
First is wealth accumulation. According to GAAP, land does not depreciate. It can go up or down in value due to market forces but it does not depreciate. When people have real, tangible wealth, they are less likely to be dependent upon the social safety net as they go through life. That benefits society. Homes can also be used as an instrument of generational wealth transfer.
Second, owners tend to take better care of properties than tenants. A community where most or all of the inhabitants own their residences is more desirable than one where everyone rents.
If you have no objection to child and educational tax credits, you don't have an issue with skewing market forces. You just want to be the one to decide who gets the benefit of that skewing.
First of all, there is a slight of hand here. I said housing and you just said land. Housing does depreciate. Especially shitty, pre-fab housing.
Secondly, land that isn't used for farming is not a productive asset. There is no societal benefit to encouraging people to sink their savings/investment into non-productive assets. If that savings wasn't being poured into housing, it would have been put into an index fund or other asset class that does more than generate paper-profits via speculation. Home-ownership only functions as an investment vehicle in a political environment that prioritizes raising real-estate costs. Functionally all this does is transfers wealth from people who earn incomes to people who own assets.
>Second, owners tend to take better care of properties than tenants. A community where most or all of the inhabitants own their residences is more desirable than one where everyone rents.
Not really. Once you control for length of residence it's mostly a wash. Long-term tenants aren't any worse than owners. In some cases they can be better because they're not the ones footing the bill for essential repair work. It comes out of their rent and is handled by a property manager who is legally liable for maintaining the property.
>You just want to be the one to decide who gets the benefit of that skewing.
This is literally the role of government. When governed well, society gets the benefit of that skewing by accounting for the externalities that aren't accounted for by the market forces. When governed badly you make problems worse.