DC mayor unveils plan to reach 20,000 more black homeowners by 2030
Washington, D.C., could see 20,000 new black homeowners over the next decade under a plan unveiled by Mayor Muriel Bowser that seeks to expand black homeownership in the district.
The plan is part of a goal to increase the number of black homeowners in the district by 2030, funding the project through the $10 million Black Homeownership Fund that was approved in the 2023 fiscal year budget. The project will be spearheaded by the Black Homeownership Strike Force, which was created by Bowser in June to provide a report to the D.C. government on how to address social and racial inequities in homeownership.
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“This goal is a first step in undoing the lasting legacy of discriminatory housing laws that locked many Black families out of homeownership throughout the twentieth century,” Bowser said in a statement on Monday. “This is about helping 20,000 Washingtonians buy homes, but it is also about helping 20,000 Washingtonians build generational wealth, stay in D.C. for generations to come, and benefit from the prosperity of Washington, D.C.”
The plan comes as homeownership within the district has become increasingly expensive, according to the mayor’s office. Roughly 34% of black residents in Washington, D.C., own their homes despite making up a majority (45%) of the city’s population, according to an analysis from the Urban Institute. Comparatively, almost half of white district residents own their homes while making up 41% of the city’s population.
The report also found that a first-time homebuyer from an average white household could afford 71% of the homes sold in Washington, D.C., between 2016-2020, compared to a first-time homebuyer from a black household who could only afford to buy 8.4% of all homes sold.
To address these numbers, Bowser tasked the Black Homeownership Strike Force with drafting a report with recommendations on how to close the gap. The task force then released a report with 10 suggestions the mayor’s office believes will help increase the number of black homeowners and maintain affordability in the growing housing market.
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These recommendations include creating a program to provide aid to black homeowners who are at risk of foreclosure, protecting black homeowners from solicitation convincing them to sell their homes, and providing resources to black families struggling to make home repairs, among other things.
“We know the federal government crafted policies to prevent African Americans from becoming homeowners for centuries,” said John Falcicchio, deputy mayor for planning and economic development. “These policies had ripple effects over generations and are the root cause of the racial disparities we see in homeownership today. Our goal is the first step in acknowledging the implications of our past and the lasting impact it has on our Black community.”