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Strengthening the Housing Ecosystem to Boost Black and Hispanic Homeownership: The Experience of Newark, New Jersey

Nationwide, most families own their primary residences. But the current homeownership rate reflects a higher homeownership rate among the majority-white population. In contrast, homeownership rates among Black and Hispanic families are significantly lower. However, this evidenced-based narrative of racial inequities in homeownership does not prevail in every jurisdiction around the country. In the city of Newark, New Jersey, for example, less than one-quarter of all households are considered homeowners. And the racial gaps in homeownership rates are significantly smaller. In a city where the majority of the population identifies as Black or Hispanic, policies that boost sustainable homeownership without fueling displacement are vital.

Join the Urban Institute for a virtual event exploring how localized place-based trends can inform the development of policies aimed at boosting Black and Hispanic homeownership. We will also discuss how federal and local public policy can support researchers and other nongovernmental practitioner organizations seeking to make change. We hope this event will ultimately foster the networks needed to construct a comprehensive toolkit in support of Black and Hispanic homeownership.



11:00 a.m. | Opening Remarks

  • Janneke Ratcliffe, Vice President for Housing Finance Policy, Urban Institute
  • Tiffany Jackson, Director of Inclusive Solutions, Prudential Financial


11:15 a.m. | How Did Local and Federal Policy Support Black and Hispanic Homeownership Amid the Pandemic Crisis

  • Ras J. Baraka, Mayor, City of Newark
  • Chad Maisel, Director of Racial and Economic Justice, Domestic Policy Council
  • Dan Hardcastle, Special Assistant for Special Projects, Office of the Secretary HUD (moderator)


12:05 p.m. | Comparing and Contrasting the Black and Hispanic Homeownership Challenge in Key Cities Comparable to Newark

  • Terri Lee, Chief Operating Officer, Atlanta Housing Authority
  • Sharon Park, Executive Director, Developing Affordable Starter Homes Fund
  • Jerrah Crowder, Deputy Director of Economic and Housing Development, City of Newark
  • Chanel Zeisel, Assistant Director of Housing and Community Development, City of Atlanta (moderator)


12:55 p.m. | Break


1:10 p.m. | How Research Can Help Illustrate the Problem and Identify Solutions: Evidence from Newark

  • Michael Neal, Principal Research Associate, Housing Finance Policy Center, Urban Institute
  • David Troutt, Distinguished Professor of Law, Rutgers Law School
  • Laura Sullivan, Director of Economic Justice, New Jersey Institute for Social Justice (moderator)


2:00 p.m. | How Can Public Policymakers Best Support Changemakers Across the Housing Ecosystem?

  • Khaatim Sherrer El, Executive Director, Clinton Hill Community Action
  • Laura Grannemann, Vice President of Strategic Investments, Rocket Community Fund
  • John Restrepo, Chair, Board of Directors, Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey
  • Reuben Teague, Executive Director, PGIM Real Estate
  • Vanessa Perry, Nonresident Fellow, Housing Finance Policy Center, Urban Institute; Professor of Marketing, Strategic Management, and Public Policy, The George Washington University School of Business (moderator)


2:50 p.m. | Closing Remarks

  • Tiffany Jackson, Director of Inclusive Solutions, Prudential Financial
  • Janneke Ratcliffe, Vice President for Housing Finance Policy, Urban Institute






Funding for this event is provided by Prudential Financial. For more information on the Urban Institute’s funding principles, go to

We strive to host inclusive, accessible events that enable all individuals, including individuals with disabilities, to engage fully. Please email [email protected] if you require any accommodations or have any questions about this event.

Date & Time Wednesday, April 13, 2022

  • Senior Fellow
  • Nonresident Fellow
  • Vice President for Housing Finance Policy
    Interim Vice President for Metropolitan Housing and Communities Policy Center