PR Newswire: Senate Bill Seeks To Remove Major Barrier To Black Homeownership

PR Newswire, August 5, 2020: Senate Bill Seeks To Remove Major Barrier To Black Homeownership

The U.S. Senate accepted the bipartisan introduction by Senators Sherrod Brown (D) of OhioDoug Jones (D) of Alabama, and Cory Gardner (R) of Colorado of the American Dream Down Payment Savings Act of 2020 (S-4414).  According to the Urban Institute the major barrier preventing Black Americans from purchasing their first home is the inability to save sufficient funds for a down payment. If the bill is enacted into law, the measure allows the creation of savings accounts at the state level similar to the 529 college savings plan, but with the goal of saving for the down payment to purchase a home. Contributions of up to $12,000 per year could be put into these qualified accounts and the savings could grow tax-free as long the funds are used for a down payment.

“Senate Bill S-4144, introduced on Tuesday, August 4, 2020, now known as the American Dream Down Payment Savings Act of 2020 serves as a beacon of hope to vastly increase the opportunity for Black Americans to purchase a first-time home and begin a wealth building journey.  Homeownership continues to be the best avenue to build legacy wealth and to begin closing the wide wealth gap between Black Americans and non-Hispanic White Americans,” said Donnell Williams, president of the National Association of Real Estate Brokers, the country’s oldest, professional, minority real estate trade group.

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Redlining and Neighborhood Health

Before the pandemic devastated minority communities, banks and government officials starved them of capital.

Lower-income and minority neighborhoods that were intentionally cut off from lending and investment decades ago today suffer not only from reduced wealth and greater poverty, but from lower life expectancy and higher prevalence of chronic diseases that are risk factors for poor outcomes from COVID-19, a new study shows.

The new study, from the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) with researchers from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health and the University of Richmond’s Digital Scholarship Lab, compared 1930’s maps of government-sanctioned lending discrimination zones with current census and public health data.

Table of Content

  • Executive Summary
  • Introduction
  • Redlining, the HOLC Maps and Segregation
  • Segregation, Public Health and COVID-19
  • Methods
  • Results
  • Discussion
  • Conclusion and Policy Recommendations
  • Citations
  • Appendix

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