Austin Cooper headshot
Austin Cooper

This bimonthly publication addresses issues surrounding the impact of gentrification on Black homeownership in the communities of Wards 7 and 8. This examination by The Washington Informer is part of a collaboration with the Center for Public Integrity (CPI). Founded in 1989, a key focus of CPI is examining inequality in housing, employment, and education.

In this issue, Kimberly Cataudella, a reporter with CPI, introduces us to Lovell Walls, a Ward 7 resident. The home where he and his wife currently reside has been in his family for close to 90 years. Despite repeated offers to sell, Walls has no intention to relinquish ownership. He wants to ensure the property remains in his family – legacy building.

Today, homeownership rates of Blacks lag even further behind that of Whites, affecting their ability to build wealth. There are many factors that contribute to this gap, ranging from systematic racism impacting housing policies to disparities in income. In 2021, Blacks are still navigating through historic disadvantages impacting their ability to buy homes. For far too many, the rising costs of homeownership an inability to purchase homes in the communities in which they were raised – homes that were once symbols and structures of the American Dream – have become home to urban development.

Through the Our House D.C. Newsletter, The Washington Informer intends to examine the challenges of Black homeownership and keep this issue in the forefront of community and national conversations.

Austin R. Cooper, Jr.

September 13, 2021

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