Blog Post: National Fair Housing Month is Back - Have We Made Progress?

photo of couple with keys

This April is National Fair Housing Month and marks 54 years since the passage of the Fair Housing Act, which banned racial discrimination in home sales and lending. With the entire month devoted to fair housing, there is no time like the present to consider the progress made and, perhaps more importantly, the work that remains.

The homeownership gap between Black and white families has persisted and even increased in recent years. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the homeownership rate among Black Americans was just 43.1% in 2021, compared to 74.3% among white Americans. This 31-percentage-point gap exceeds the 27-point gap of 1960. According to Urban Institute, a nonprofit research organization, advances made in the wake of the Fair Housing Act were negated after 2000 as combined housing and economic forces—as well as systemic challenges—thwarted homeownership aspirations of people of color.

Real change will require bold action, which is why FHLBank San Francisco is proud to join forces with Urban to explore meaningful solutions through the Racial Equity Accelerator for Homeownership. Two organizations alone cannot create lasting structural change; the mortgage industry as a whole—from local and national financial institutions to regulators and policymakers—must be committed to doing the work of unearthing entrenched biases and introducing remedies to level the playing field.

Throughout the month of April, as we reflect on what’s needed to achieve true fair housing in America, FHLBank San Francisco will release a series of short videos from our CEO Teresa Bryce Bazemore sharing her insights on specific challenges that impact aspiring and current Black homeowners as they work to build stability and wealth for  future generations. Teresa will focus on the four pillars of our Racial Equity Accelerator: underwriting criteria, automated tools, short-term payment issues, and student loan debt. Watch the first video.

FHLBank San Francisco invites all financial industry stakeholders to join us in a National Fair Housing Month discussion on systemic inequities and viable solutions to move the country toward greater balance and fairness. Contributions are encouraged on FHLBank San Francisco’s LinkedIn page throughout April and beyond.