Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. has issued a new report, titled “A Place To Call Home: Pathways to Home ownership Preservation And Opportunity In New York City.” The report includes an analysis of the situation facing one- to four-family residences as well as a set of recommendations aimed at increasing home ownership opportunities and preserving and expanding existing home ownership rates in New York, especially for minority and low-income communities.

“For generations, becoming a homeowner has provided many Americans with the opportunity to build wealth and transfer that wealth across generations,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. “Although we live in a dense, high-cost city, any plan to tackle the housing affordability crisis must include solutions to preserve home ownership and give first-time home buyers the tools they need to invest in the future.”

The full report can be read at https://on.nyc.gov/37QNrOK Recommendations discussed in the report include expanding small home ownership preservation programs which can prevent foreclosure proceedings such as Neighborhood Homes, SCHAP, and the recently launched Home Fix program, creating incentives for homeowners to maintain their homes so that people of modest means can perform necessary home repairs and increasing home ownership opportunities through new cooperatives or condominiums if one- to four-family homes are demolished in favor of higher density, five or more unit structures.

Owning a home provides economic, social, physical and health-related advantages, but the high demand for both market-rate and affordable rental housing, combined with the lack of available land in New York City, have contributed to the decline of home ownership through the loss of owner-occupied housing stock, particularly in low-income and minority communities.

Studies have found that lower home ownership rates among Black and Latino households are strongly correlated to the racial wealth gap. The Bronx, where over 90 percent of the population is non-white, has the lowest home ownership rate of the five boroughs, along with the highest decrease in home ownership and the highest poverty rate in the City.