The Power of Home Ownership


A decade after the housing crash destroyed the American Dream for millions of homeowners, black homeownership rates have dropped to levels not seen since the 1960s, hobbling African-Americans’ efforts to build their wealth Nationally, only 42.2 percent of blacks owned homes in 2016, compared with 71.9 percent of whites, according to a new report by Harvard University‘s Joint Center for Housing Studies.

The Power of Home Ownership

Home ownership is a way for people to generate stability and wealth and not just go to work everyday work and make someone else wealthy by renting.  Home ownership can change the trajectory and direction of neighborhoods. As the individual wealth of community members increases the pride and community equity will increase.   Without homes, blacks lack a powerful source of wealth creation. Homeowners generally build equity that allows them to eventually buy other homes or businesses and send children to college. Homes also are passed to younger generations upon death, allowing future generations to build wealth.

The Black Community is Losing Ground

After decades of making gains, the most recent nationwide African-American home ownership rate was the lowest it’s been since the Fair Housing Act of 1968 began tackling discriminatory housing practices. Historically, home ownership has been 28.4 percent higher among whites than blacks, but the racial gap in home ownership is now the largest since data became available in 1940. Prospects for black home ownership have gone from hopeful to pessimistic in only 15 years. Harvard researchers attribute much of the plunge in African-American home ownership to predatory lending practices that saddled buyers in poor minority neighborhoods with more debt than they could afford.

The Great Recession and The Black Community

As a result of “The Great Recession” and predatory lending practices that targeted Black and Hispanic communities these inner-city communities were hit especially hard by the housing crash and the foreclosures that ensued. The disproportionate foreclosure rates in Black communities resulted in increased credit scores damage by foreclosures and the short sales kept people from bargain-hunting in the wake of the housing crash. Prices were low, but even people with good credit struggled to get mortgages as lenders focused on borrowers with great credit. So as home buying has picked up among whites, Asians and Hispanics since the crash, African-American ownership has fallen, according to the Harvard research.

Rent Is Slavery

High rents also are keeping some from home ownership. As demand for rental housing has climbed, rents have surged the last few years, making it hard for many to pool enough funds for a down payment. Rent is slavery that prevents us as a community from building wealth and results in wealth building for someone else. Renting has moved our community to a place where a large number of our community members are paying more than 30 percent of their income for rent, which results in a deficiency in other area of our lives.These high rents keeps on the treadmill that will never allow us to build wealth for ourselves and our future generations.  


When empty foreclosed properties are fixed up and inhabited again, the values of surrounding homes rise. Without the rehab projects, the abandoned properties can “become nuisances in the community that bring unintended consequences,” such as crime, reduced home prices, and low levels of community equity. Buy The Block has create a crowd investment platform that allows us to pool our money together and buy, rehab, and sell properties as a community. The power of the Buy the Block program is that as a community we are able to increase home ownership, create employment for contractors and their workforce, and provide renovated housing stock in our community while allowing members of the community invest and build wealth.

Please visit the Buy The Block website to sign up for this historical opportunity to be become a BlockVestor or Block Developer and own your piece of your community @    

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  • Shavi Neal

    I want to thank you for this publication.. I am currently a homeowner in Detroit and believe me it’s been a struggle.. However, I am still standing and plan to aquire more land. I have children and grandchildren to whom I want to leave behind wealth. I believe in my heart that home ownership is power. Please advise on purchasing lots that may yield potential wealth if developers want to buy the land I own once I purchase it. I want to know if this is a smart investment..

    December 15, 2019 at 4:58 pm Reply