Valerie White, senior executive director of the Local Initiatives Support Corporation NY (LISC) will join Congressmember Yvette Clarke during a panel called The Adverse Effects of the Affordable Housing Crisis on the Black Community.
The panel, held at the 51st Congressional Black Caucus Foundations’ Annual Legislative Conference on Sept. 30, will focus on obstacles and inequities that the Black community often face when navigating home-ownership, affordable housing and homelessness.
“The current state of the market is informed by our historical inequities that have been part of what has been happening in the opportunities for Black homeownership since the beginning of our ability to actually to buy homes, which is less than half of the time of this country.”
Across the nation, rent prices have been surging causing a severe lack of affordable housing, which disproportionately impacts low-income communities, making basic housing need soften unattainable.
“[They] are not having any opportunities to move into certain neighborhoods, there’s been disparities on appraisals in terms of the value of the home, the availability of single-family homes for individuals to buy in neighborhoods that have been traditionally acceptable for Black homeowners [is less],” said White. “In addition to high cost markets in New York City, and you couple that with the inability or lack of equity in terms of having available housing it has just continued to exacerbate the issue.”
The rising wealth inequality within the country is also drastically and negatively impacting the ability for working class families to continue to live in the city where they work, which leaves many properties susceptible to gentrification.
“Many might be moving out of the city, out of the state to other locations, or there investors or other buyers to come in and gain those properties at a much lower value than they actually are,” White said.
However, there are some solutions that could possibly aid in this inequity.
“The city and the state have initiated some programs that help with things like downpayment assistance, also homeownership intention, weatherization – all of the things that it takes to maintain a home,” said White, although she also said that there was room for improvement.
“There needs to be dedicated and intentional support with financial resources from a government agency,” White said. “[As well as] holding accountable institutions in terms of making the appropriate or fair assessment of value of homes and fair assessment analysis to give mortgages.”