Money Tingz: California’s Reparations Debate Continues With $200,000+ For Residents

By Lesley Green-Rennis

  • A California task force proposes providing $223,299 in reparations for qualifying residents
  • California’s Black homeownership rate is 36% compared to 63.2% for white households

Are reparations the answer to decades of systemic racism? Some Californians believe so. California’s governor Gavin Newson appointed a task force that put forth a groundbreaking proposal aimed to level the playing field for the state’s Black residents. The team of experts recommended that each Californian who is a descendant of free or enslaved African Americans prior to the 19th century be provided $223,200 in reparations

Why This Matters: Black Americans have the lowest homeownership rate in the state, according to the California Housing Finance Agency. Gaps in homeownership contribute to wealth inequality, as home equity makes up the majority of wealth for low-and middle-income families. Decades of unjust housing policies like segregation and redlining have resulted in Black households being 43% less likely than White families to own a home and 48% more likely to be rejected for a mortgage.  

The pandemic exacerbated home inequities with high demand leading to rising home values and the  Coalition For A Just And Equitable California breakdown the importance of reparations. In California, the average home is valued at $765,495, making the standard 20% down payment on a conventional 30-year mortgage well over $150,000, out of reach for many Black residents. Now, the proposal brought forth by Newsom’s task force is meant to help close the homeownership gap. California’s Black homeownership rate is 36% compared to 63.2% for white households.

Situational Awareness: The California proposal is not the first.  A group of 16 Black residents of Evanston, Illinois have been selected to receive $25,000 in grants via the city’s government-backed-and-funded Reparations Restorative Housing Program.  Lawmakers in St. Louis, one of the nation’s most segregated cities, are discussing reparations policies as well. Black Americans have long depended on building intergenerational wealth through homeownership, reparations might be the way to subsidize home purchases. 

CBX Vibe:By The Time I Get to Arizona” Public Enemy

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