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Home Ownership: Key to Bridging Wealth Gap

The Network Journal

It's no secret the wealth gap between African American and White households is widening. However, the estimated median wealth between the two groups would jump a whopping 450 percent if African Americans owned homes at the same rates as Whites, according to a study released earlier this year by a New York City-based think tank.

An analyst at Demos, an economic public policy advocacy group founded in 2000, commented that if policies were implemented to allow a freer and easier access to home ownership for African Americans and Latinos, the burgeoning gap between the have's and have nots would all but disappear. “With policies that advance the rate of Black and Latino home ownership to the same rate as White household, Black wealth would more than quadruple and Latino wealth would more than triple,” said Catherine Ruetschlin, a senior policy analyst at Demos. Ruetschlin headed the year-long study in conjunction with the Institute on Assets and Social Policy (IASP)--another economic policy think tank.