Brief An Essential Role for Down Payment Assistance in Closing America’s Racial Homeownership and Wealth Gaps
Michael Stegman, Mike Loftin
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For more than a generation, America has experimented with ways of providing down payment assistance (DPA) to cash-constrained first-time homebuyers. A growing recognition that closing the homeownership gap is essential to closing the racial wealth gap has brought DPA back to the fore as part of broader strategies to increase homeownership for communities of color and other underserved groups. This brief draws upon lessons learned from previous experiences with DPA programs to inform the discussion going forward. The researchers advocate for a national DPA program that is more robust and intentional at reaching low-income households and households of color. Such a program would include higher income limits for first-generation homebuyers, multiple pathways for delivering DPA, and sustained federal funding at a high enough level to advance racial equity.  

Research Areas Wealth and financial well-being Race and equity Housing finance Housing
Tags Federal housing programs and policies Asset and debts Racial and ethnic disparities Homeownership Financial products and services Wealth inequality Inequality and mobility Racial homeownership gap
Policy Centers Housing Finance Policy Center