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Black America's Mortgage Dilemma

Charlene Crowell
Washington Informer

Among mortgage professionals, it is widely held that owning a home is how many Americans build wealth. As the private mortgage market has failed to make loans available to Black homebuyers, our community suffers from a limited ability to create wealth through this reliable and proven method.

Demos, a public policy organization, published a report that demonstrated if the rate of homeownership by people of color would increase, the racial wealth gap would substantially reduce the racial wealth gap. “Black and Latino homeowners saw less return in wealth on their investment in homeownership: for every $1 in wealth that accrues to median Black households as a result of homeownership, median white households accrue $1.34,” states the report.

Housing is critical to the health of our national economy. Excluding credit-worthy families from fully participating fully in the entire housing marketplace, hinders the market’s ability to continue its steady improvement. This exclusion also systematically limits the total number of potential homebuyers. As America’s retirees grow older, many will seek to downsize. Expanding the pool of homebuyers looking for their first home can help first-time buyers access a greater number of options.