The Black homeownership rate has fallen since the Great Recession, and the Black-white homeownership gap has widened to levels greater than they were in 1968, when housing segregation was still legal. Although overtly racist lending practices are no longer allowed, their legacies persist in housing, contributing to a growing modern-day disparity.

If the Black homeownership rate is left unaddressed, the Urban Institute projects it will continue to fall for every age group younger than 85. As homeownership is key to building wealth, particularly for Black families, for whom homeownership makes up an even greater share of household wealth, this trend poses an economic risk for the nation and a disaster for the Black families unable to achieve homeownership and transfer wealth to their children.

The mortgage market depends on consumers who can access safe and responsible loans, so bold, innovative, and evidence-based solutions are needed to increase homeownership among Black households, strengthen the middle class, and grow the economy.

Adding 3 million net new Black homeowners means that 9.5 million Black households will own their homes by 2030, a goal that is easy to track and measure. Because the homeownership rate depends not only on how many households own a home but on the total number of households, it can fluctuate depending on the rate of household formation and changes in the size of the population. A homeownership rate–based goal reflects a confluence of factors and may be harder to interpret as a result.

No single solution will correct the historical inequity in ownership opportunity or remedy the malignancy of ongoing systemic racism in our housing markets. Instead, multifaceted frameworks and coordinated execution by a broad range of stakeholders are required. To achieve 3 million net new Black homeowners, we believe measurable interventions are required in three broad areas.

  1. “Net new” means not losing further ground
  2. Add new homeowners by fixing the systems that finance and supply housing
  3. Strengthen the foundation of fair housing and fair lending

Read the full article about empowering increasing the number of Black homeowners by Janneke Ratcliffe and Jung Hyun Choi at Urban Institute.