Impact of the US Housing Crisis on the Racial Wealth Gap across Generations

In the lead-up to the Great Recession, economic opportunity in the United States remained deeply unequal across racial lines, but economic trends suggested that the country was on a path toward narrowing the yawning wealth disparities between white and black families. Economic inequality, however, fueled some of the most harmful lending practices in the housing market, allowing financial institutions to engage in discriminatory and predatory lending that accelerated the financial collapse. Commissioned by the American Civil Liberties Union, this report examines the likely effect of the financial crisis on the racial wealth gap for the next generation and finds that the gap is now on track to compound over time. Using a unique dataset, the report illuminates a trend with urgent implications for the future of racial justice in America and for policymaking strategies aimed at guaranteeing fair economic opportunities in the coming years.

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