NHPF-Authored Articles & Industry Reports

Maximizing Impact: Seven Strategies to More Resilient Affordable Housing

1. Capitalize on a Readiness to Address Racial Inequity There is a strong willingness to redress historic wrongs that have led to persistent racial and ethnic disparities in accessing and remaining in quality housing. There is also a shared sense of responsibility to address the disparities. The timing is propitious to pursue policies and programs at all levels of government that are designed specifically to reverse decades of redlining, home appraisal discrimination, and unequal access to quality housing, and invest in long under-served populations and places. There may well be much more widespread support than has typically been assumed for such efforts. Among other things, there is a consensus recommendation for strong enforcement and potential expansion of anti-discrimination legislation such as the Fair Housing Act and the Community Reinvestment Act. Nearly 88% of respondents perceive that, relative to the population as a whole, people of color struggle to access and keep affordable housing. Nearly 63% of survey participants believe that such individuals struggle “much more” than others. When asked about the primary causes of these racial and ethnic disparities, nearly 89% of respondents cited long-term racial discrimination in real estate, lending practices, and federal housing policy. Institutional discrimination far outpaced the second and third-most-cited factors: disparities in income and/or employment, and instances of racism or racial bias among landlords and other individual actors. “ Collectively these factors have led to

a significant gap in homeownership rates between white households and households of color, with Black ownership at an all-time low at 42% vs. whites at 70% ownership across all sectors. 4 ”

Kimberly L. Jones Social Activist and Author

A Decade of Rental Housing Vulnerability

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