Row of houses

Tearing Down Barriers to Homeownership

The podcast Policy Research and Poverty spoke to UCLA Luskin’s José Loya about his research on how race, gender and age affect access to mortgage credit. “Homeownership is the largest vehicle for creating wealth,” said Loya, assistant professor of urban planning. “It’s not small businesses. It’s not owning stocks or bonds. It’s actually the purchasing of a house.” Yet multiple barriers prevent certain demographic groups from accessing mortgages and achieving the multigenerational security that homeownership represents, his research shows. These inequities affect not just individual families but entire neighborhoods — the presence of quality schools, public transit, government services and high-opportunity jobs. Programs that expand homeownership opportunities in lower-income neighborhoods are not just about owning a piece of real estate, Loya said. “I always joke around that it’s not really about having the right to paint the wall or move my fence or whatever. It’s really about the opportunities that that home provides for that family.”


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