One year ago, Mayor Muriel Bowser created the Black Homeownership StrikeForce to address the disproportionately low rates of Black homeownership in the District of Columbia versus White homeownership. At the time Mayor Bowser wrote:
For years, Black Americans in Washington, DC and across the nation were intentionally excluded from opportunities to purchase homes and build wealth. Today, the legacies of those discriminatory policies are reflected in homeownership rates and disparities in generational wealth. For example, in Washington, DC, while nearly 49 percent of white residents own their homes, only 34 percent of Black residents own their homes. We know, especially with the rise in housing costs, that in order to overcome these legacies, close racial wealth gaps, and ensure more longtime DC residents can stay and build wealth in DC, we must think and act boldly. (excerpt from Black Homeownership Strikeforce, October 2022).
This call to act boldly and do the critical work has been Yachad’s mission for three decades. Our healthy housing home remediation program continues to serve older Black homeowners and even more, first-time homebuyers, who after a few years are in need of support. Both older and newer Black homeowners hope to build wealth through their homes to pass on to future generations. How are we doing?
So far this year, Yachad completed extensive home repairs to 23 homes. We are currently working on another 13 homes, addressing roofing, plumbing, flooring issues and more. We are also replacing broken appliances and kitchen cabinets and countertops. Our partners, WIN and The 11th Street Bridge Park, hosted Yachad at several community meetings to help target our services to homeowners living in Wards 5, 6, 7 and 8, predominantly and historically, Black neighborhoods.
In this season, as we reflect on the year behind us and the year ahead, we welcome your individual and collective support. We can all do more, give more and learn more to address obvious racial and equity disparities in our greater community. Let’s continue to act boldly b’Yachad in the year ahead.
L’Shana Tova– Happy new year 5784
(To read the full report go to: Black Homeownership Strike Force)