Homeownership is a way for people of color to build wealth for our communities and families — don't let politicians take it away.
We are a broad coalition of groups dedicated to protecting homeownership for people of color, resisting gentrification, and standing up to the predatory developers targeting our communities.
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In California and throughout the United States, single-family home zoning has come under attack by the real estate industry, politicians, and YIMBY groups. Yet these groups rarely, if ever, mention a crucial fact: homeownership is a key tool to help communities of color build wealth and financial security. Politicians should never take it away.
“Homeownership continues to represent an important opportunity for individuals and families of limited means to accumulate wealth,” researchers at Harvard University's Joint Center for Housing Studies noted in a 2013 study.
For any legislation or land-use policy that aims to ban single-family home zoning, politicians must always consider the economic impacts on communities of color. If not, elected officials are ignoring an important instrument for wealth building -- and will worsen economic disparities.
Banning single-family home zoning invites predatory developers into middle- and working-class Black and Latino neighborhoods, where purchasing properties may be less expensive. Those developers will construct over-priced apartments, luring more affluent individuals into historical communities of color. Longtime, less affluent residents will then be forced out due to gentrification and displacement -- they won’t be able to pay rising, sky-high rents.
In fact, the negative consequences of banning single-family home zoning will be felt most by lower-income communities of color, not predominantly affluent white areas. Predatory developers will go where land is least expensive.
In addition, demolishing large swaths of single-family housing for apartments will negatively impact renters’ ability to someday become homeowners and build wealth since less single-family housing stock will be available.
An aggressive push by politicians, the real estate industry, and YIMBY groups to turn individuals, including people of color, into permanent renters will create a massive transfer of wealth -- and with that political power -- that benefits those who will own the apartments: corporate landlords and other major real estate companies.
The scheme to ban single-family home zoning is born out of a troubling trickle-down housing agenda championed by the real estate industry, certain politicians, and YIMBY groups. We must stop it before communities of color are irreparably damaged. Join our coalition to fight back against this harmful, greed-driven agenda.