Are Government Housing Programs Fair?
The pandemic has highlighted long-standing national issues with housing access, affordability, and supply. Government policies can play a decisive role in determining who gets the keys to a new home and who gets locked out, including perpetuating discrimination in lending and homeownership. What does historical research have to say about the role of government and citizen groups in helping Americans—especially those of color and women—buy their first homes and how might it apply to home buyers today?
Want more policy research?
Stay informed about trending policy research topics and more.
Get the latest IPR newsletter sent to your inbox.
Have Government Housing Programs Historically Been Fair?After World War II, millions of Americans became homeowners for the first time because of the creation of the 30-year mortgage. IPR political scientist Chloe Thurston explains how many minorities and women were shut out of the housing market due to discriminatory government policies and how they fought for homeownership through advocacy groups like the NAACP and NOW.
What Contributes to the Racial Wealth Gap?What factors contribute to the racial wealth gap? Thurston examines how policies that rely on the market, such as benefits from employers or bank loans and mortgages, can maintain and amplify the racial wealth gap. She highlights how the low visibility of these policies make it challenging to connect them to the government and hold policymakers accountable for the ways these programs increase racial economic disparities.
- How can you balance optimal policy and real-world politics? In a Crain’s Chicago op-ed, Thurston discusses the Evanston reparations program that will provide grants for mortgages or home improvements to Black homeowners who qualify and the lessons that can be drawn from its narrow focus.
- Will removing racial restrictive clauses from property deeds reduce housing inequality? Thurston shares with the New York Times how racial covenants expanded during the early 20th century. She suggests that removing these unenforceable covenants today will not change the legacy of other discriminatory housing practices.
Sign up for email updates on IPR research news and events.