The History of the American Dream Homeownership and its Impact on Diverse Communities

Race is often left off of the table when housing policy is discussed—poverty and class are usually deemed to be enough for the discussion. Our brief report attempts to instead address race and its impact on housing and homeownership head on.

This report will look at both the past and present practice of federal subsidy for homeownership and the extent to which that subsidy has and has not flowed to communities of color. This report will also look at the more recent mortgage market innovations that led to the subprime loan crisis, as well as the impact that crisis has had on communities of color. Lastly, our report will look at how a lack of homeownership, and abundance of subprime lending and foreclosures, have created a historic gap in wealth between white and non-white communities.

Our research is not groundbreaking but our findings have rarely been presented through the lens of our country’s persistent racial wealth gap. It is our hope that policy leaders will use this research to ensure that people of color are allowed the same opportunities to build wealth that other communities have.