Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) on Saturday announced her proposal to make homeownership a reality for black family to purchase homes, POLITICO reported. Her plan would establish a $100 million plan through the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to help blacks with a downpayment and closing costs on a home.
In order to qualify, families would have to live in a high-cost area and make between $100,000 and $125,000. Each family would be allowed up to $25,000, as long as the family was renting or living in historically redlined communities, areas the Home Owners' Loan Corporation has dissuaded lenders from investing in, Fox News reported. According to the Harris campaign, redlining is the cause of income inequality between blacks and whites. They estimate that 4 million people would be helped through the proposed program.
"Redlining has resulted in households of color receiving just 2% of the [Federal Housing Administration] loans expanded between 1934-1962, and formerly redlined neighborhoods are sites of deep racial disparities in home value and lending activity," the campaign said.
Another major aspect of the program would be to provide an increase in credit access. Harris hopes to accomplish this by changing credit reporting standards to include payments on credit cards, student loans, auto loans, mortgage, rent, phone and utility payments.
“A typical black family has just $10 of wealth for every $100 held by a white family,” Harris told a crowd at the Essence Festival in New Orleans. “So we must right that wrong and, after generations of discrimination, give black families a real shot at homeownership, historically one of the most powerful drivers of wealth in our country."