The paper seeks to examine the importance of homeownership for African Americans in the United States (US) grounded on past studies. Leading suggestions and opinions from literatures suggest that homeownership creates generational wealth, provides social status and security, enhances residential choice and economic opportunities. The paper begins by exploring the trends and trajectories in African American homeownership in the US and discusses the benefits (importance) of homeownership. We later outline the emerging challenges of homeownership for African Americans, noting that it remains an effective way of creating wealth. Lastly, the review highlights what can be done to close the homeownership gaps in ensuring that African Americans fully utilize homeownership as a means for wealth generation.
The concept of wealth has been carefully unpacked across disciplines, especially within the economics and business domains, with some literature and studies stressing wealth disparity as a driver to economic inequality and vulnerability for poorer households (Hanks et al., 2018; Daly et al., 2017). The term has generally been referred to as the sum of the value of household assets, such as financial, retirement savings, home, car, and business minus all debts. Put it, wealth is the difference between what a household owns and what they owe, but more importantly allows families and households to be economically secure and create opportunities for the next generation (Anacker et al., 2012; Shapiro et al., 2013). As argued, such opportunities can allow people to move forward by moving into better and safer neighborhoods through homeownership.