Homeownership and Race in DC Communities East of the Anacostia River
Even as Washington, DC, experiences increasing home and rent prices, many communities east of the Anacostia River have seen their housing costs remain lower than those of the rest of the city. These communities also historically have had the highest shares of Black residents. But as gentrification moves eastward across DC, the area's demographics are changing. Based on an analysis of Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data, we find the proportion of home purchase mortgages sold to Black home buyers in communities east of the Anacostia River is declining. In 2021, 75 percent of home purchase mortgages in these areas went to Black households, compared with 92 percent in 2007. Given the long legacy of racist policies and practices to exclude Black Americans from homeownership, and acknowledging that homeownership is an important tool for wealth creation, we suggest four ways the DC government could provide more robust support to communities east of the Anacostia River.