How do racial inequities limit homeownership
The racial education gap
Black and Hispanic/Latino households face unique barriers to homeownership
that prevent access to the beneficial outcomes associated with homeownership,
such as wealth building, improved health, and higher educational attainment. Historically, structural and institutional obstacles faced by racial and ethnic minorities compounded over time to produce these inequities.
The racial education gap
Black and Hispanic/Latino students are less likely to graduate from high school and post-secondary institutions than white students. Among those 25 and younger, Black and Hispanic/Latino youths were almost twice as likely to have not completed high school as white youths. Black and Hispanic/Latino youths also had lower post-secondary graduation degree attainment rates than white youths. For the average American, place of residence determines which school students can attend, which means the neighborhood school is often where students enroll. The average Black student attends a school in the 37th percentile for test results, and the average Hispanic/Latino student attends a school in the 41st percentile, while the average white student attends a school in the 60th percentile.
Key place-based barriers to reducing disparities in educational outcomes
Black and Hispanic/Latino students remain concentrated in segregated, high-poverty neighborhoods with low-performing schools.
Black and Hispanic/Latino students are disproportionately concentrated in low-performing school districts. About 45% of Black and Hispanic/Latino students attend high-poverty schools, where the majority of students participate in free and reduced cost lunch programs, compared with 8% of white. Furthermore, Black students comprise 15% of the public school population, and Hispanic/Latino students make up 28%, but 60% of Black and Hispanic/Latino students attend public schools that have at least 75% minority enrollment, and 25% of Black students and 32% of Hispanic/Latino students attend public schools composed predominantly of peers of the same racial/ethnic group.
High-poverty, segregated schools tend to have less qualified teachers and lower-average academic achievement. Attending a high-quality school with high test scores, peer effects and teacher quality can significantly reduce the racial test score gap and improve future economic outcomes.
Moving to a low-poverty neighborhood before the age of 13 increases the probability of college attendance
by 2.5% and increases long-term incomes by 31% students.
How Habitat responds
Habitat can provide homeowners with the chance to move out of high-poverty neighborhoods and into areas with better educational opportunities. The affordable nature of Habitat homes allows homeowners to reside in areas they might otherwise not be able to afford to live in, granting them the ability to send their children to higher-quality schools.
Some Habitat affiliates strategically target land acquisition in communities with high-quality schools in order to further promote access to improved educational opportunities.
The stability provided by Habitat homes allows homeowners to minimize disruptions to their children’s education, which can help counteract the negative impact of lower-quality schools and limited community resources.
Habitat neighborhood revitalization programs sometimes include partnerships with schools to strengthen the educational opportunities, safety and transportation routes offered to residents in a community.
Habitat advocates for land use policies that increase affordable homeownership development opportunities in lower-poverty neighborhoods.
The Why Home Matters evidence series is a multi-part exploration of existing research on the impact of homeownership created by Habitat for Humanity International. Each evidence brief in the series investigates and presents evidence on outcomes related to affordable housing and homeownership while also highlighting specific ways that Habitat’s work contributes to improving outcomes for families and communities.
everyone needs a place to call home.