Policy plus affordability
Dr. Perry’s proposals for equity around homeownership also include the creation of new mortgage products that will enable low-income renters to purchase low-priced homes. “There are thousands of homes throughout the United States that are priced below a point that a bank will back with a mortgage,” Dr. Perry states. “So, we need to figure out ways to enable low-income renters to move into those homes.”
Alternative credit scoring systems may also help, Dr. Perry contends. “When you don't have wealth, it's much more likely you'll fall into debt, and that's one of the reasons why Black people, in general, have lower credit scores, is because we have lower wealth historically,” Dr. Perry explains.
Dr. Perry notes that a comprehensive approach is not focused only on individual homeownership alone. “We need policies that really revisit how we got out of the Great Depression, [where] we invested in people in the form of low-interest loans and down payment assistance. But we also need to invest in place. Many of the areas that Black and brown people live in have been, and are impoverished, because of a lack of investment in those areas,” Dr. Perry says.
Access to home loans
Homebuyers’ access to homes that are affordable goes hand in hand with access to home loans that can help them finance their purchase.