Senator Kamala Harris has promised to help close the racial wealth gap by investing $100 billion to help Black families gain access to housing assistance if she is elected president.
Speaking at Essence Festival in New Orleans, Louisiana, the Democrat nominee from California believes her plan could help up to four million families.
Harris vowed to ‘remove the barriers’ that Black Americans face when trying to qualify for a home loan.
‘I will strengthen anti-discrimination lending laws and implement stricter enforcement,’ she told a cheering crowd.
Her plane will see $100 billion of Federal government funds invested to help families who have been disadvantaged by redlining practices.
Redlining stemmed from the 1930s when the Home Owners’ Loan Corporation (HOLC) rated risk levels for insurance and loan repayments on color coded maps.
Deemed on a scale from ‘hazardous’ to ‘best,’ the guideline led to people from ‘redlined communities’ being refused loans, according to SmartAsset.
This predominantly discriminated against African-American neighborhoods by deeming them a ‘higher risk,’ the site reports, compared to white areas.
It meant that white households gained access to low-cost mortgages, which in-turn helping the white middle class to grow.
This additional wealth was then passed down through generations – making them richer and also more likely to become future homeowners too.
Meanwhile, Black families that could get on the property ladder ‘didn’t see the same return on their investment as white households,’ SmartAsset reports.
During this time, between 1924 – 1962, Black households received just 2% of Federal Housing Administration loans – according to Harris’ campaign.
Now, for every $10 of wealth owned by a Black family, a white family has $100.
Emphasizing the importance of home ownership being ‘historically one of the most powerful drivers of wealth’ in America, she stated: ‘We must right that wrong.’
‘After generations of discrimination, [we must] give Black families a real shot at home ownership,’ she said.
If the disparities were eliminated, her campaign states that: ‘median Black wealth would grow $32,113 per household, and the wealth gap between Black and white households would shrink by 31 percent.’
She also plans to increase access to credit by altering reporting standards to include payments on credit cards, student loans, automobile loans, and mortgage repayments.
Harris’ popularity surged from seven to 20 per cent, after clashing with former Vice President Joe Biden over the issue of race, at the Democratic debates, according to a Quinnipiac poll.
It saw Biden drop from 30 to 22 per cent, his lowest numbers during the primaries, in a survey of democrat and democratic leaning voters.
Below Biden and Harris, were Elizabeth Warren with 14 per cent, Bernie Sanders at 13, Pete Buttigieg at 4 and the others candidates scoring lower.