White House: It's Time to Narrow the Racial Wealth Gap

Legislation | June 02, 2021 | by Linda Couch

On June 1, the White House announced a series of proposals to “build Black wealth and narrow the racial wealth gap.”

On June 1, the White House announced a series of proposals to “build Black wealth and narrow the racial wealth gap.”

Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing and Disparate Impact

As part of these efforts, HUD will publish proposed rules on Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing and on countering housing practices with discriminatory effects the week of June 7. Efforts to enforce and provide regulatory structure to the Fair Housing Act of 1968 were rolled back during the previous Administration. “These proposed rules will align federal enforcement practice with the congressional promise in the Fair Housing Act to end discrimination in housing and will collectively provide the legal framework for HUD to require private and public entities alike to rethink established practices that contribute to or perpetuate inequities,” the White House says.

Ending Discrimination in Home Appraisals

The June 1 announcement also included a directive to HUD to lead leading an interagency initiative to address inequity in home appraisals. The effort will seek to utilize, quickly, the many levers at the federal government’s disposal, including potential enforcement under fair housing laws, regulatory action, and development of standards and guidance in close partnership with industry and state and local governments, to root out discrimination in the appraisal and home buying process.

Incentivizing Greater Choice

The White House, as part of its June 1 announcement, also promoted its $5 billion proposal, as part of its American Jobs Plan infrastructure proposal, to incentivize ending exclusionary zoning and expanding housing choices. The funds would go to jurisdictions that take concrete steps to eliminate needless barriers to producing affordable housing and expand housing choices for people with low or moderate incomes.

New Homes Tax Credit

Also part of the June 1 package of proposals from the White House is the Treasury’s tax expenditure proposal for new Neighborhood Homes Tax Credit (NHTC). The new NHTC would cover the gap between the cost of building or renovating homes and the price at which they can be sold. The NHTC would also help existing homeowners rehabilitate their homes, even in the absence of any plans to sell them. Read more about this proposal here.