FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 18, 2023
Washington, D.C. — Recently, Lisa Rice, President and CEO of the National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA), sat down with Ebony’s Black Connect for an in-depth discussion about Black homeownership, redlining, and how homeownership can build wealth that can be passed to the next generation. Rice was joined by Dr. Andre M. Perry, a Senior Fellow at Brookings Metro. Rice shared insights on the challenges and opportunities for Black people looking to become homeowners, as well as her advice on how Black homebuyers can navigate the housing market while protecting their financial interests. You can watch the full interview at Ebony.com.
“Homeownership is the number [one] way that families build and sustain wealth in this nation. We don’t call homeownership the American Dream for nothing. There’s an important reason why homeownership is a major cornerstone of wealth. For most people, your home equity comprises a huge amount of your net worth. For Black and Latino households, homeownership and home equity are a much larger component of our net worth. For Black households, for example, your home equity can be as much as two-thirds of your network. So, it’s foundational to building financial independence and being able to pass on wealth to future generations.”
“The homeownership rate for Black people actually increased by two percentage points from 2019 to 2021…. We’ve added about 262,000 more Black homeowners over that time span. This didn’t happen by accident; it was intentional. We have this increase in Black homeownership because when the COVID pandemic hit, groups like the National Fair Housing Alliance, Brookings…and many other organizations were intentional about making sure that at the federal level, at state levels and local levels, we would implement policies that would support and grow, Black homeownership.”
On History of Redlining
“When you see the inequality or the inequity, it’s by design. It’s not a mistake. It’s not happenstance. It’s on purpose. The Homeowners Loan Corporation Act implemented all of its policies and practices with race-based, race-conscious principles. It institutionalized the system of redlining. It still boggles the mind today that the federal government did this, but they did…So, housing reform is really about dismantling the systems of inequality and inequity and replacing them with structures that are fair and equitable for everyone.”
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. As the trade association for over 170 fair housing and justice-centered organizations and individuals throughout the U.S. and its territories, NFHA works to dismantle longstanding barriers to equity and build diverse, inclusive, well-resourced communities.