Lament and Hope: A Pan African Quad-Centennial Devotional Guide - Page 16

Lament and
Hope in Angola
A History of
Immigration and
Homeownership is the primary way American families build wealth. African Americans have
been denied equitable access to mortgage loans, and therefore homeownership, for roughly
the past four generations. In 1934, the National Housing Act established a new government
agency, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), to regulate interest rates and mortgage terms
after the banking crisis of the 1930s. Through the newly created FHA, the federal government
began to insure mortgages issued by qualified lenders, thereby providing mortgage lenders
with default protection. African Americans were inequitably segregated through mapping of
neighborhoods and typically ineligible for these loans. Many African Americans resorted to
“contract lending.” Contract lending involved discriminatory practices against African Americans
by white real estate speculators. The practices included charging inflated amounts for houses, no
accrual of equity in the home until all installment payments were paid, quickly evicting families
for not making payments on time, and forcing them to forfeit previous house payments.
Source: Bread for the World’s Racial Wealth Gap Policy Packet (
LAMENT and HOPE: A Pan-African Devotional Guide


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