D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser announces a new initiative aimed at increasing homeownership in the city for longtime Black residents during a press conference at Busboys and Poets restaurant in northwest D.C. on March 31.
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser announces a new initiative aimed at increasing homeownership in the city for longtime Black residents during a press conference at Busboys and Poets restaurant in northwest D.C. on March 31.

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser announced Thursday the formation of a Black Homeownership Strike Force that will develop recommendations on how to keep longtime African-American homeowners in the city.

At the beginning of June, strike force members will be appointed by Bowser and include leaders in the housing, finance, legal and real estate sectors as well as community representatives.

The strike force will deliver a report detailing how the fund should be implemented after 120 days.

“This effort is one more way we can put homeownership within reach for Black Washingtonians while helping longtime residents keep and maintain their homes,” Bowser said. “We have developed many programs to give residents a fair shot, but addressing long-term racial disparities in homeownership and household wealth for Black Washingtonians requires new, innovative strategies that the strike force can help us create.”

The creation of the strike force comes as recent data shows that 34% of Blacks own their homes as opposed to 49% of whites. The Urban Institute reported a first-time homebuyer with the average white household income could afford 71% of the homes sold in the District between 2016 and 2020, including all homes sold in Wards 7 and 8 but for Blacks, a first-time homebuyer from the average Black household income could only afford 8.4% of the homes sold.

The disparity worsened from 2010 to 2014, when a first-time homebuyer with the average white household income could afford 67% of homes sold, including all homes sold in Wards 7 and 8, while the average Black buyer could afford just 9.3%.

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