NAR is supporting and joining efforts initiated by the National Association of Real Estate Brokers (NAREB) and the Urban Institute to address the continued low rate of African American Homeownership. Two recent events highlight these challenges and set the stage for developing policy initiatives geared towards sustainable increases in African American homeownership.
On December 5, 2018, NAR staff attended the Brookings Institute event “Homeownership while black: Examining the devaluation of assets in black neighborhood.” The event centered around the release of Andre Perry’s research paper entitled “The Devaluation of Assets in Black Neighborhoods: The case of residential property.” According to Perry, homes in black neighborhood are valued 23% below similar homes in <1% black neighborhoods due to racial bias. This leads to a $156 billion loss in wealth. Among the solutions presented was that real estate developers should focus on minority, low density, and middle income neighborhoods as places for commercial development, and not just as bedroom communities, which could increase home values and neighborhood prosperity.
On December 7, NAR staff and NAR’s Public Policy Committee Vice Chair Brenda Small attended a National Association of Real Estate Brokers (NAREB) briefing, sponsored by the Congressional Black Caucus, on “Strategies to Increase Homeownership and Close the Wealth Gap.” African American homeownership rates are almost the same as they were fifty years ago, before the Fair Housing Act was passed. Currently, black homeownership rate is 41.6%, more than 30% points less than white homeownership. NAREB has been providing research regarding reasons for the substantial gap between African American homeownership and that of other groups.
NAREB, NAR and the Urban Institute will be meeting regularly in 2019 to expand research into policies that have and will sustain a growth in African American homeownership.