Comfort Boateng sorts through two large boxes of mortgage and financial papers. Photo: Michel du Cille/The Washington Post via Getty Images

A significantly smaller percentage of African Americans owned a home in 2017 than white Americans, according to an annual report from Harvard's Joint Center for Housing Studies — only 43%, compared to 72% of their white counterparts.

The big picture: The Washington Post's Jonnelle Marte reports that despite the housing market making progress in recovery from the financial crisis, the gap between white and black households is still there.

Between the lines: Chief economist of Veritas Urbis Economics, Ralph McLaughlin, told the Post that there is an extensive history of African Americans being hindered from owning homes by unfair housing policies.

  • Since the financial crisis, banks and other loan lenders "added more consumer protections and raised the qualifications for mortgages," the Post reports, which "resulted in an overcorrection that made it especially difficult for people of color...to break into the market."

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