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HUD Awards Nearly $1 Million to Research the Homeownership Gap

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has announced nearly $1 million in grant awards to conduct extensive research focused on closing gaps in access to mortgage financing and homeownership faced by borrowers of color and other underserved groups.

“Homeownership is often the most direct path to generational wealth building. That is why HUD is committed to providing resources to help low-income renters access opportunities to purchase a home, if that is their choice,” said HUD Secretary Marcia L. Fudge. “Today’s announcement is a reminder of the importance of working with our local partners so people in all communities, but especially those that have historically been left out, can thrive.”

  • New America Foundation in partnership with the Winston-Salem State University was awarded $251,925: They propose to investigate whether declining access to small dollar mortgage loans—defined as loans for amounts less than $100,000—disproportionately impacts Black families and contributes to the widening racial homeownership gap.
  • The University of Michigan was awarded $330,000: Their proposal will look at two Detroit neighborhoods, Harmony Village and Condon, which have different racial makeups and will serve as focal points to understand the unavailability of mortgage financing to borrowers of color.
  • Abt Associates received a grant of $416,358: For a comprehensive three-part project aimed at producing actionable insights to assist policymakers in boosting homeownership among Black and Latino renter households, while reducing racial and ethnic homeownership disparities.

“Under Secretary Fudge's leadership, HUD is prioritizing reducing the racial homeownership and wealth gaps that have persisted for decades,” said Solomon Greene, HUD’s Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy Development and Research. “Through this research, we look forward to learning what communities are doing to preserve and protect homeownership opportunities, particularly for home-seekers that have historically faced some of the greatest barriers to building wealth.”

HUD also awarded a combined $1.4 million to Northern Arizona University and New York University (NYU) Grossman School of Medicine under the University-Nonprofit Partnerships Engaged in Community-Based Research Designed to Address Homelessness Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) to support research to address homelessness that engages affected communities and elevates the perspectives and insights of people with lived experience.

Additionally, HUD awarded $600,000 to NYU Furman Center under the Authority to Accept Unsolicited Proposals for Research Partnerships Notice to conduct research to address the impact of homelessness on families.

“HUD is committed to working to ensure that everyone has access to a safe, stable place to call home and I’m pleased to see that today’s funding allows communities to research viable options to get people off the streets and into homes,” added HUD Secretary Fudge. “HUD and the Biden-Harris Administration will continue to work with our local partners to work to end homelessness in communities across the country.”

  • Northern Arizona University will receive $726,306 for a three-year project, divided into three phases that will document what is known about encampment resolution strategies and their effectiveness in the three most populous Arizona counties (Maricopa, Pima, and Yuma) as well as the experiences and impact of encampment resolution strategies among people experiencing homelessness.
  • New York University (NYU) Grossman School of Medicine was awarded $631,902 to identify what services and housing resources are needed to better facilitate rapid transitions from homelessness to housing for adults aged 55 and older in New York City. The project aims to examine pathways from shelter to housing for older adults, including an examination of unique housing and/or support needs of this population, and to build capacity for community-engaged research at the intersection of health and housing.

“HUD continues to be on the frontlines of fighting and ending homelessness and today’s funding announcement helps with just that,” added Greene. “These research projects will help fill crucial knowledge gaps about solutions to end homelessness and help HUD, other federal agencies, and our state and local partners better understand the effectiveness of programs and interventions designed to address homelessness in communities.”

Under HUD’s Research Partnerships program, the Office of Policy Development and Research (PD&R) has the authority to accept unsolicited research proposals that address current research priorities of the Department. Through the Research Partnerships program, HUD has selected a new applicant for funding:

  • NYU Furman Center received $650,000 to estimate the impact of providing $1,000/month unconditional cash transfers for 12 months to families previously experiencing homelessness, who are exiting a rapid re-housing (RRH) program, on return to homelessness, housing stability, and rent burden, and explore mechanisms through which the cash transfers may impact these outcomes.

About Author: Eric C. Peck

Eric C. Peck has 20-plus years’ experience covering the mortgage industry, he most recently served as Editor-in-Chief for The Mortgage Press and National Mortgage Professional Magazine. Peck graduated from the New York Institute of Technology where he received his B.A. in Communication Arts/Media. After graduating, he began his professional career with Videography Magazine before landing in the mortgage space. Peck has edited three published books and has served as Copy Editor for Entrepreneur.com.

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