Special from the Washington Informer
Major barriers impede homeownership among African Americans, de- spite record-low Black joblessness and a higher labor participation rate than whites, according to a report released Thursday by the National Association of Real Estate Brokers.
The 2023 State of Housing in Black America report, released at NAREB’s Black Wealth Summit at Miles College near Birmingham, Ala., found that an inadequate supply of new homes significantly contributes to the growing housing crisis, particularly for potential Black buyers.
A nearly 10,000-unit shortfall and the lack of housing stock contribute to the high cost of shelter despite high interest rates are factors negatively affecting Black homeownership, the report said.
“Housing inventories must be increased across the country,” said Courtney Johnson Rose, NAREB president. “Families can’t buy homes if they aren’t available or if the market is so tight that prices are artificially high.
Clearly, there is a connection between the lack of inventory and the inability to increase Black homeownership substantially.
It’s time for key components of the housing finance industry, such as Fannie Mae and Fred- die Mac, to facilitate new home construction or even rehabilitation of existing homes.”
The report noted that the Black homeownership rate was 45% in 2022, nearly 30% lower than white households, noting that the gap is wider than 50 years ago. It was also reported that the Black-White wealth gap is so expansive that the 400 wealthiest Americans control the same amount of wealth as the 48 million Blacks living in the U.S.
“Narrowing the Black-White racial gaps in homeownership and wealth will require strong action at the federal level,” Rose said.
Rose asserted that, under President Biden, the government has taken steps in the right direction.
“Federal government policies contributed to these racial gaps, and now the government must invest in fixing them so that the idea of a fair and just America can exist for all our citizens,” she said.