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Racist policies have kept Black Americans from owning homes. A new program wants to fix that

America has a homeownership imbalance. Nationwide, 74% of white households own their homes. For Black households that number is far lower, just 44%. Racist lending policies such as redlining and a lack of generational wealth and buying power have long hindered Black households when it comes to buying a home.

In New York City, the problem is getting worse. Homeownership among Black households has dropped 13% over the last 20 years, according to recent research by the Center for New York City Neighborhoods, an organization focused on affordable housing. Black households represent just 18% of homeowners in the city, despite accounting for more than a quarter of the population. The combination of racist policies and a widening wealth gap means fewer Black families in New York and other cities can afford to buy a home.

“In all markets, but particularly in very expensive markets like New York City, the savings required to make a down payment are one of the largest barriers—if not the largest barrier—for everyone, and particularly for black potential homeowners who don’t have as much access to intergenerational wealth as other communities might,” says Todd Baker of CNYCN.

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