Forging Ahead on Affordable Housing

Knowing our Past Makes Us Powerful

 

“There is another element that must be present in our struggle that then makes our resistance and nonviolence truly meaningful....Our ultimate end must be the creation of the beloved community.”  Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. April 15, 1960, in Raleigh, North CarolinaHabitat Wake strives to create a world in which everybody has a safe, affordable place to call home. We partner with the community to build homes that are purchased by local families at an affordable cost and advocate for local, state, and federal policies that promote access to affordable homes on a broader level. However, we can’t solve the affordability issue without addressing the long history of racial discrimination in housing. 

 

Race + Housing 101

Housing is at the core of our lives. A safe, affordable place to call home provides  a connection to the surrounding community and opportunities for economic mobility. Homeownership in particular is one the primary ways to build wealth in the United States. However, centuries of institutionalized racial discrimination in housing have created intentionally segregated cities and towns with impacts that endure to this day. 

Institutional racism is distinguished from the explicit attitudes or racial bias of individuals by the existence of systematic policies or laws and practices that provide differential access to goods, services and opportunities of society by race. Institutional racism results in data showing racial gaps across every system.

One of the most significant consequences of discriminatory housing policies is the stark difference in net wealth held by Black and white families. Black families specifically were denied access to mortgages, desirable neighborhoods and homeownership subsidies, through redlining and restrictive covenants. This means that white families were able to access homeownership and pass along wealth to their children.

The long-term impacts are clear today:

 

Homeownership disparities

 

As we advocate for equitable access to affordable housing in Wake and Johnston counties, we aim to offer educational resources and encourage  elected officials to promote policies that support equitable housing practices. We invite you to join us by reading through the resources below to learn more!