A new initiative is hoping to reverse declining Black homeownership rates in the U.S.
The Black homeownership rate fell to just 42% in 2019, its lowest since 1970, according to date from the National Community Reinvestment Coalition. Now, the Black Homeownership Collaborative is aiming to create as many as three million new Black households to bump up that rate by more than 10%.
The Collaborative is a steering committee formed by associations and companies including the National Association of Realtors, the NAACP, Bank of America, and others. It has created a seven-point action plan to achieve its goal, which would see Black homeownership rates hit their highest-ever level if successful.
“The legacy of discriminatory practices, as well as official government practices and longstanding harm, has left us with great disparities in wealth and opportunity,” Bryan Greene, vice president of policy advocacy for the NAR, told Apartment Therapy. “The goal with 3by30 is to recognize that [legacy of discrimination] and to try to figure out where we can begin to make more progress.”
Inequity in homeownership has persisted due to things like redlining, racially restrictive covenants, discrimination in appraisals and high denials for access to credit, the Collaborative said.
The seven-step plan is designed to add new homeowners and sustain existing homeowners. It calls for pre- and postpurchase counseling for borrowers who have been denied mortgage approvals and special-purpose credit programs. It also calls for a sustainable and targeted down payment assistance program and investments in affordable housing.
“We do need to do something aggressive if we expect to create more homeownership opportunities in this country,” Greene told Apartment Therapy. “We have an interest in the housing industry, and I think society at large, to try to find ways to close these gaps, because our economy and our society benefit from more housing opportunities.”