Story at a glance
- On Tuesday, President Biden announced new initiatives to help Black Americans build wealth.
- Citing long-standing systemic racism, Biden said he is focused on dismantling discriminatory housing policies that impede Black homeownership.
- Millions of dollars in funding will go into community investment and infrastructure support.
On the centennial anniversary of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, when white mobs destroyed profitable Black businesses in Oklahoma City, President Biden announced several new initiatives to bridge the wealth gap between white and Black Americans.
In a press briefing on Tuesday, Biden stated that his administration would focus on improving homeownership and small business ownership among Black Americans as key ways to build the wealth that systemic racism took from them.
“Today, on the centennial of the Tulsa Race Massacre, the Biden-Harris Administration is announcing new steps to help narrow the racial wealth gap and reinvest in communities that have been left behind by failed policies,” the administration said in the announcement.
Massive amounts of federal funding will be dedicated to investing in Black communities, with a fresh $10 billion aimed at community revitalization to spark improved infrastructure and services and $15 billion for new grants and technical assistance to overhaul transportation infrastructure.
To end historically racist redlining and predatory lending practices, $5 billion will go toward the Unlocking Possibilities Program, which will support the development of affordable housing options and choices for individuals with lower incomes. Another $31 billion will be allocated towards capital investments for small, Black-owned businesses.
This comes in addition to the $100 million new homebuyer program announced by the U.S. Office of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The funding will go toward helping prospective Black homeowners pay for increased down payments on houses, supporting their equity in property.
“Homeownership is the main source of wealth for many Black families,” said HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge. “We need to ensure that more Black families have a fair shot at owning a home. This $100 million initiative in HUD’s budget is critical to our efforts.”