National Fair Housing Alliance Launches Nationwide Initiative to Eliminate the Racial Wealth Gap

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 6, 2021

Media Contact: Izzy Woodruff | 202-898-1661 | IWoodruff@nationalfairhousing.org

National Fair Housing Alliance Launches Nationwide Initiative to Eliminate the Racial Wealth Gap

Keys Unlock Dreams will take aim at the racial wealth gap by increasing homeownership opportunities for Black and brown individuals

Detroit, Mich. — This month, the National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA) launched the Keys Unlock Dreams Initiative (KUDI) with the release of its commissioned report on housing in metro Detroit, Michigan. With the homeownership rate for people of color lower today than it was 50 years ago when Congress passed landmark anti-housing discrimination legislation, the groundbreaking, nationwide KUDI program is designed to increase homeownership opportunities for Black and brown individuals, while simultaneously closing the racial wealth gap. 

“With the launch of our Keys Unlock Dreams Initiative, we are addressing the dual crises of systemic racism in the housing market and the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on Black and brown people. Many communities of color still have not recovered from the Great Recession. For example, while median home values for white households have gone up in the years 2015 to 2019 compared to 2010 to 2014, the median home value for Black households dropped further. Without direct action, these same communities will not recover from COVID,” said Lisa Rice, President and CEO of NFHA. “At NFHA, we are committed to helping communities build back stronger by removing barriers to sustainable and equitable homeownership opportunities.”

In June, NFHA released a blockbuster report in partnership with Zillow detailing how communities of color in these cities have access to fewer traditional amenities like financial institutions, health services, and fitness facilities than largely white neighborhoods. The stark disparities reflect the ongoing challenge of ensuring equal opportunity across racial lines when the distribution of basic resources remains unequal. 

In Detroit, there is an almost 36-point Black/White homeownership gap (42.3 and 78.1, respectively), which is wider than the national rate. And that is no accident: 61% of mortgage applications were denied in the city of Detroit, which disproportionately affects Black residents’ ability to buy a home.

The Keys Unlock Dreams Initiative will advance research, programs, products and resources in 10 cities: Atlanta, Baltimore, Columbus, Detroit, Houston, Memphis, New Orleans, Oakland, Philadelphia, and Washington DC.

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The National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA) is the country’s only national civil rights organization dedicated solely to eliminating all forms of housing and lending discrimination and ensuring equal opportunities for all people. Through its homeownership, credit access, tech equity, education, member services, public policy, community development, and enforcement initiatives, NFHA works to dismantle longstanding barriers to equity and build diverse, inclusive, well-resourced communities.

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