fetishization of homeownership raised the default rate among the poorest buyers, who should have been renting
The poor should be renting and paying someone else's mortgage as well as paying them profits instead of paying their own mortgage? I can see renting when home prices are skyrocketing or if the renter is only going to be there a short period, but that's it. If you rent someone else is profiting off of you.
Are you seriously telling me that the mighty US financial industry lost hundreds of billions because of a modest, and highly predictable, increase in default rates of relatively small loans, often government backed, to known credit risks? Was that all it took?
Too many lenders made mortgages for more than borrowers could reasonable afford, I don't expect borrowers to know how much they can afford any more than the bank that lends them money, banks are supposed to be the experts. It didn't help that government encouraged mortgage companies to make those mortgages. Building regulations don't help keep cost down either, and may drive costs up.