Aug 4, 2022 - Politics & Policy

HUD’s new plan to bridge the homeownership gap

The Biden administration is rolling out new policies and committing millions of dollars to help people build wealth and buy homes, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Marcia Fudge told Axios during a live event Thursday.

Why it matters: There is a 30-percentage point gap between Black and white homeownership — that gulf is wider than it was in 1968, when the Fair Housing Act was passed.

  • Today, the median white family has about 8 times the wealth of the typical Black family and 5 times the wealth of the typical Latino family.

"What we are seeing is a crisis not just in home ownership, but a crisis in this country as to who can afford to live in certain neighborhoods," Fudge said.

  • "[W]e're looking at how we address the systemic racism that has permeated the federal government, quite frankly, for generations and generations."

What’s happening: HUD’s “Bridging the Gap” plan includes measures to help low-income renters build credit, save money and access educational resources on wealth-building and homeownership.

  • Steps include allowing renters to build credit by reporting monthly payments, helping young adults save, and addressing problems in the current property appraisal system which routinely undervalues homes in predominantly Black and brown neighborhoods, said Fudge.

HUD is also committing $113 million to its Family Self-Sufficiency program, which helps HUD-assisted families move away from welfare through support such as job training, counseling, child care and financial education.

The bottom line: "We're using these kinds of opportunities to assist people who have historically been left out, who have historically been underserved," Fudge says.

Go deeper: These cities are reducing the racial homeownership gap

Go deeper