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Study: Homeownership Can Help Close The Racial Wealth Gap

Houston Public Media

Erica Jackson has just moved into her house in Cypress with her two boys.

Despite a well-paying job, it’s the first home that the 36-year-old has been able to purchase – thanks to a counseling agency called Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America.

The group helped her to control her spending, deal with her student loan debt and save more money every month.

“I just feel stable,” Jackson said. “I feel like I’m part of the whole American Dream, you know, and responsible.”

While Jackson has made it, many other African Americans are still struggling to buy a home.

Nationwide, 72 percent of white households own homes. But only 44 percent of African American and 47 percent of Latino households own their house, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Across Greater Houston, the disparity is similar.

One reason is that African Americans and Latinos are more likely to earn lower incomes compared to whites.

But imagine if they had the same rate of homeownership.

A recent report by Brandeis University and the advocacy group Demos looks at that scenario. [...]