In D.C., 34% of Black residents own their own homes compared to 50% of white residents. The racial gap in homeownership is something Mayor Muriel Bowser wants to change.
“So, equalizing or eliminating that gap really, really will depend on how well we can get people in our city the ability to buy their own homes,” Bowser said.
Speaking in Ward 8, the mayor said past discriminatory policies on the local and federal levels have been among the hurdles for Black residents seeking the American Dream. Bowser said moving forward requires being “very intentional” to make up for the past.
One step in the process is offering education for residents who want to get into their own homes and offer services that help them make their dream a reality, Bowser said.
On Saturday, at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library in Northwest, the city will hold a Black Homeownership workshop, which will offer everything from advice on getting a mortgage to information on the city’s Home Purchase Assistance Program, which provides interest-free loans and helps with closing costs for some low to moderate-income families.
“The information provided there will help you understand what purchasing a home entails,” said Colleen Green, acting director of the Department of Housing and Community Development.
Among the offerings from the city is an online tool called Financially Fit DC, which helps create budgets and achieve financial goals.
Bowser also announced a program that will help families pass their homes from one generation to the next, and another that will help families create accessory dwelling units on their property.