On February 26, 2021, D.C Policy Center Executive Director Dr. Yesim Sayin Taylor was quoted by the Washington Business Journal:

The benefits of homeownership reverberate well past a domicile’s four walls.

It doesn’t just produce wealth for current owners — it snowballs over time for future generations. It creates a pipeline for money to flow to some neighborhoods over others in the form of infrastructure investments, which in turn boost that area’s home values. Access to quality housing and location can also translate to access to quality education, transportation, health care and nutrition, currently the domain of largely white neighborhoods.

“The wealth gap is not because I own stock and somebody else doesn’t. It’s because I own a home and somebody else doesn’t,” said Yesim Taylor, executive director of the D.C. Policy Center, a business-backed research group.

Oftentimes, it’s the existing homeowners — particularly in predominantly white neighborhoods — who themselves restrict how many homes can be built in the vicinity, artificially inflating their own home values and making it difficult for people of color to move or live there, Taylor said.

“Land is the most valuable thing we have in D.C., and you have parts of D.C. where you can’t build a house unless it’s on 15,000 square feet,” Taylor said. “If you compare Ward 6 and Ward 3, I don’t think anyone who looks at Ward 6 says, ‘This place is a dump.’ But there are three times as many homes there.”

Read more: RESIDENCE RESISTANCE: Zoning remains at the crux, while real estate firms tackle the need with new aid | Washington Business Journal

Related: Taking Stock of the District’s Housing Stock | D.C. Policy Center

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