“There is a large and well-known wealth gap between blacks and other racial groups in the United States, much of which can be attributed to differences in homeownership rates and the value of housing.”
The devaluation of assets in black neighborhoods is a serious issue facing American communities. Throughout all of the dramatic changes in East Liberty over the past two decades, it has remained a majority minority community. Though several high-end apartment complexes have been built and private landlords have raised their rents, 40% of rental units available in East Liberty are still permanent, affordable housing.
A new report from The Brookings Institute speaks to the importance of homeownership as a vehicle to address the black/white wealth gap in the US. While many folks are fearful of increasing home prices in East Liberty, it’s also true that over 300 low-to-moderate income families, many of whom are minority families, have experienced a dramatic increase in their home values, and therefore, their net worth, over the last decade, bringing millions of dollars in increased home wealth to these families.
Our focus at ELDI over the next 3-5 years will be on increasing this minority homeownership stake in the neighborhood and on supporting minority business development so that everyone who wants to can have the opportunity to take advantage of this upwardly mobile market.