Affordable Housing Is A Key to Realizing The American Dream
Homeownership has been the key to upward mobility for low-and-middle income Americans. It is the anchor for families and a source of stability for communities. It serves as the foundation of many people's financial security, and it is a source of pride for people who have worked hard to provide for their families.
America’s huge middle-class is largely a result of the regulatory finance reforms that promoted and subsidized homeownership following the Great Depression of the 1930’s. Thanks to this concerted effort, over 74% of white American families owned their own homes by 2004.
Unfortunately, due to blatant discrimination and redlining, the rate of homeownership for non-white families was a little over one-half of that during that same period.
The advocacy efforts of civil rights organizations of the 1960’s chipped away at these unfair practices and produced fair housing policies as well as legislation that began to erode obstacles to minority homeownership. The greatest gains in homeownership rates were created by financial institutions that identified the minority communities as an untapped market. Until the recent housing crisis and subsequent economic meltdown, minority homeownership rates were growing.
Minority families were not only closing the housing gap, but, more importantly, were increasing their assets and closing the wealth gap.
The Two Hundred project composed of community leaders will advocate for an affordable housing program that will reverse the subtle, but insidious actions that have destroyed the AMERICAN DREAM of homeownership for many people of color. It will incorporate government agencies, financial institutions and community organizations into a Homeownership Stimulus Program. The program will address the barriers and obstacles that minority families face today to enter the middle-class through homeownership and the associated wealth accumulation opportunity.