Report: To get to 60% Black Homeownership, major changes needed in housing finance and community development systems

Even more will be needed to bridge the Black-White racial wealth divide

To reach a 60% Black homeownership rate in the next 20 years, the number of new Black homeowners each year will need to more than triple, a new report shows.

The report, from the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC), concluded that bold new approaches in the nation’s housing finance and community development investment systems will be necessary to address barriers to homeownership for low- and middle-income Black households.

That would reverse a steady decline in the Black homeownership rate, which was 42% in 2018, as low as it was in 1970, compared to 73% for White households. A 20% – 30% gap between Black/White homeownership rates has persisted for more than 100 years, despite Black homeownership increases in the mid-1900s.

With homeownership being the largest component of wealth for many Americans, these disparate rates are a major obstacle to wealth accumulation for Black families.

“Even getting to a record-level Black homeownership rate of 60% will not bridge the Black and White wealth divide fully,” said report co-author Dedrick Asante-Muhammad, NCRC’s Chief of Race, Wealth and Community. “Additional bold programs like baby bonds, full employment and reparations for descendants of slavery are needed to close the racial wealth divide in the foreseeable future.” 

The report also recommended housing financiers should target Black populations with moderate incomes in geographic areas with affordable housing and low Black homeownership rates. 

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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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