PROJECTThe Wealth Opportunities Realized through Homeownership (WORTH) Project

Homeownership is critical for wealth building and financial stability. And it is an asset that can be passed down to future generations. But nationwide, households of color are less likely to own their home than white households.

Absent policy intervention, households of color may be more at risk of preserving homeownership, particularly during times of financial stress. These racial differences in homeownership rates are partly produced by economic barriers such as higher unemployment rates but are rooted in systemic racial and ethnic discrimination within the housing market and related economic sectors.

How the WORTH Project seeks to create more homeowners of color

To combat these inequities and their devastating effects, the WORTH initiative supports the creation of at least 40,000 new homeowners of color in eight markets by December 2025.

In the initiative, eight “collaboratives” focus on increasing or preserving 5,000 homeowners of color in specific geographic markets, each receiving $7.5 million. These implementation grants will support new and existing strategies and core organizational activities.

These programs, or strategies, have been identified by each collaborative as the key steps needed to break down homeownership barriers for households of color. The policies target vital areas such as mortgage demand, housing supply, advocacy, and broader systems change to help households of color traverse the path toward achieving and preserving homeownership.

The Urban Institute’s role

The Urban Institute will document innovative approaches and local processes, monitor the number of new homeowners created, evaluate how specific approaches and contextual factors contribute to observed outcomes, and share findings nationally to enhance impacts. These evaluation strategies will include a process study, an outcome report, and an impact evaluation.

Homeownership differences make up a sizeable portion of the broader racial wealth gap. The material produced by the Urban Institute will be invaluable as policymakers, consumer advocates, industry stakeholders, academics, and other changemakers work to close these gaps. These reports and blog posts will highlight important aspects of local efforts to support homeowners of color, and they will be available for the public here.



Research Areas Housing Housing finance Race and equity Wealth and financial well-being
Tags Housing markets Housing stability Racial barriers to housing Racial homeownership gap Racial wealth gap Wealth gap Wealth inequality
Policy Centers Metropolitan Housing and Communities Policy Center Housing Finance Policy Center
Research Methods Data analysis Quantitative data analysis Research methods and data analytics