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Closing the Wealth Gap in Homeownership

WHEREAS, systemic racism has left Black families behind, the typical White family holds eight times the amount of wealth held by the typical Black family, according to the 2019 Survey of Consumer Finances. The disparities continue after these students leave school. Due to lower family wealth and racial discrimination in the job market, Black students are far more likely than white students to experience negative financial events after graduating- including loan default, higher interest rate payments, and higher graduate school debt balances; and

WHEREAS, crisis-level student debt hinders economic progress in many ways, including reinforcing racial wealth inequality. According to the U.S. Census, as of the second quarter of 2021, the Black homeownership rate was 44.6 percent compared to 74.2 percent for Whites. That's down from the recent high achieved in the second quarter of 2020 but up significantly from the half-century low of 40.6 percent measured in the second quarter of 2019. In spite of an apparent increase in homeownership among Blacks in 2020, the gap in homeownership rates between Black homeowners and White homeowners is still a staggering 30 percentage points; and

WHEREAS, according to the 2021 State of Housing in Black America (SHIBA) Report, there was a surge in Black millennial home buying during the first months of the pandemic, contributing to increasing Black homeownership. This surge is largely attributed to the greater buying power that millennials have compared to other generations, reflecting a greater ability to save and invest, especially among middle-class Black millennials, who have higher incomes and more stable employment; and

WHEREAS, for many Black millennials, student loan debt is the biggest hurdle in homeownership, as it can limit the amount of savings that can be used for a down payment in the general population; and

WHEREAS, debt to income ratio is reported as the main reason for denial for over 35 percent of Black millennial applicants compared with 28 percent of White millennial applicants. A study of millennial student debt shows that Black millennial Bachelor's degree holders had a median debt of $31,000 compared to $26,726 for White millennials; and

WHEREAS, between June 2020 and May 2021, the private and philanthropic sectors have made at least $215 billion in racial equity commitments; and

WHEREAS, nationwide, the home price inflation increase over the year ending August 2021 was 14.9 percent. Currently, home prices are on the rise, and income levels are stagnant. Based on the economy, homeownership and ultimately Black wealth will also remain stagnant, and

WHEREAS, this resolution reaffirms and builds upon prior NAACP resolutions to promote homeownership that includes the 2012 NAACP resolution, "Saving Homeownership and Building Wealth in African American Communities" and the 2020 resolutions, "Down Payment Assistance Program To Increase Black Homeownership," "Wealth Building and Homeownership," and "Ditch the College Debt," and the 2021 "Student Debt Cancellation $50,000 & Beyond."

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the NAACP offers its full and ongoing support and backing for the efforts of building Black wealth by closing the homeownership gap.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the NAACP demands the President of the United States make good on his promise to cancel and reform student debt. The NAACP requests the President of the United States, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and Congress initiate policies and legislation that will help Black American first-time home buyers who want to purchase a home but have large student loan payments. 

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that the NAACP demands the President of the United States secure support from his Administration and from financial institutions with racial equity commitments to closing the homeownership gap.

Derrick Lewis - Youth & College Hero

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