Habitat for Humanity International Is Aiming To Close Black Homeownership Gap With New Initiative

The homeownership chasm among US Black and White families is bigger today than it was when Jim Crow was in effect.

The Urban Institute recently reported that in 1960, people saw a 27-point gap between Black homeownership (38%) and white homeownership (65%). Now, that gap sits at 30%. To address this, Habitat For Humanity has moved to launch a new initiative to address this pervasive racial homeownership gap.

Earlier this year, billionaire philanthropist Mackenzie Scott made a $436M donation to the leading non-profit in an effort to drive their efforts to address home insecurity among underserved families.

“Habitat works to break down barriers and bring people together — to tear down obstacles and build a world where everyone, no matter who we are or where we come from, has a decent place to live,” Habitat for Humanity International CEO Jonathan Reckford said in a statement back in March when the donation was initially announced. “This incredible gift helps make that work possible.”

Now, the organization is taking the transformational gift and working to address a decades-long issue. They are calling the initiative ‘Advancing Black Homeownership,’ which is aimed at increasing homeownership opportunities for Black individuals and families—and address the racial and systemic bias that has stymied access to homeownership for generations—through programs that will help end the social and economic disparity many Black people and communities of color continue to face.

They are initially funneling $25 million into the program over the next three to five years—and have a goal to pour $100 million or more into new programming, a equitable commercial lending strategy and property acquisition fund through Habitat Mortgage Solutions, their community development financial institution.

“These efforts are designed to help Black families build intergenerational wealth through homeownership and other strategic supports, such as developing more inclusive communities, increasing the availability of affordable homes near public transportation and jobs, and transforming concentrated areas of poverty into areas of opportunity,” said Adrienne Goolsby, senior vice president of the U.S. and Canada for Habitat for Humanity International in a news release. “Ultimately, we want to reduce the impact a century of discriminatory housing policies has had on the Black community.”

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