Homeownership and America's Financial Underclass: Flawed Premises, Broken Promises, New Prescription

Jun 3, 2015

A. Mechele Dickerson is a nationally recognized bankruptcy law scholar and a global media expert on consumer debt. She is the author of Homeownership and America's Financial Underclass: Flawed Premises, Broken Promises, New Prescriptions.

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with A. Mechele Dickerson, Law professor at the University of Texas School of Law, and author of ‘Homeownership and America's Financial Underclass: Flawed Premises, Broken Promises, New Prescriptions.

Why does America have a love affair with homeownership? For many, buying a home is no longer in their best interest and may harm their children's educational opportunities. Dickerson argues that US leaders need to re-evaluate housing policies and develop new ones that ensure that all Americans have access to affordable housing, whether rented or owned.

After describing common myths, Dickerson shows why the circumstances now faced by America's financial underclass make it impossible for them to benefit from homeownership because they cannot afford to buy homes. It then exposes the risks of 'home buying while brown or black,' discussing US policies that made it easier for whites to buy homes, but harder and more costly for African Americans and Latinos to do so.

Dickerson also argues that remaining racial discrimination and certain demographic features continue to make it harder for African Americans and Latinos to receive homeownership's promised benefits.