Despite a dismal housing market and lingering recession, Americans still consider owning a home to be central to a sense of well-being and a core part of the American Dream.

According to a poll by The New York Times and CBS News, 9 out of 10 Americans feel that owning a home is an important goal.  This remains true even while many worry about whether buying a home is a safe investment.  Only 49% of those surveyed felt that it was a safe investment while 45% called it risky, especially due to continuing decreases in the housing market.

Very few people supported the idea of ending the mortgage tax deduction, but many indicated (45%) that the government should do more to help shore up the housing market.  Fifty-three percent said the government should do more to help those having trouble paying their mortgage.  President Obama was given disapproval by 45% of the respondents for his handling of the housing crisis, with only 36% approving.

The largest share of the blame in the survey was given to lenders at 42%, with 29% blaming regulators for lack of oversight.  A small percentage blamed borrowers for accepting loans they could not afford.

There was broad support for requiring down payments of 20% by borrowers with 58% stating that lenders should require this, while only 36% disagreed.

The poll was conducted nationwide between June 24 and 28 and included 979 adults.