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BofA Expands Affordable-Housing Program to $15 Billion by 2027

Booming U.S. Recovery Is Leaving Some Communities Completely Behind
Photographer: Eric Lee/Bloomberg

Bank of America Corp. is expanding a mortgage program for low- to moderate-income homebuyers in an effort to address racial wealth gaps.

The lender, working with the nonprofit Neighborhood Assistance Corp. of America, set a goal of providing $15 billion in mortgages through May 2027, according to an announcement Tuesday. Buyers get loans with no down payment, at below-market fixed-interest rates, and with closing costs paid by the bank. The program has provided more than 42,000 home loans since its inception in 1996, including 9,100 in the last two years, of which more than 85% are for people of color.

“Home ownership is one of the means to build wealth and it evens the playing field,” AJ Barkley, a neighborhood lending executive at Bank of America, said in an interview.

Despite federal reforms in the last several decades, gaps between Black and White homeownership haven’t improved. In the second quarter of 2019, Black homeownership hit the lowest rate since the 1970s, at 40.6%. Meanwhile, White homeownership climbed in the beginning of 2019 to 73.1%. The following year ended with slightly higher rates but a similar disparity.