Kamala Harris unveils $100 billion black home-ownership plan

(CNN) — California Sen. Kamala Harris unveiled a $100 billion plan to invest in black homeownership — a proposal the 2020 presidential candidate said that, if elected, would set in motion her broader plan to tackle the US racial wealth gap.

“So we must right the wrong and — after generations of discrimination — give black families a real shot at homeownership — historically one of the most powerful drivers of wealth,” Harris said in a speech Saturday at the Essence Festival in New Orleans in what promises to be the beginning of a series of policy rollouts focusing on the black community.twitter.com

Harris entered the room inside the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center to a standing ovation. Speaking at the lectern, she greeted the majority black woman crowd cast in purple and yellow set lights with a proper welcome, “Good morning, my beautiful sisters.”

Under Harris’ proposal, homebuyers who rent or live in historically redlined communities can apply for a federal grant of up to $25,000 to assist with down payments or closing costs. Harris’ campaign estimates that this will help up to 4 million families.

Redlining is the discriminatory practice of denying financial or other services for low-income and minority communities.

Harris’ policy proposal also aims to prevent discrimination in home sales, rentals and loans by promising to strengthen and strictly enforce anti-discrimination laws.

During a conversation with civil rights leader Al Sharpton among others, Harris tied homeownership to the ability for students to be able to pay for higher education and loans.

Harris said black Americans have been “institutionally and historically deprived legally from having access,” to the greatest source of assets and wealth that a family can have, which is housing.

“When our kids want to go to college, where as other families who own their home and can go into the equity in their home to help pay for their students’ tuition, our families have to go and those students have to take out loans and at interest rates that they can’t afford to pay off over a long period of time,” Harris said.

Michayla Thomas, a 20-year-old business student at Florida State University who’s burdened by student debt, called access to housing and homeownership a “big problem” in the black community. She’s grateful that Harris’ proposal could provide young black people with more options.

“People that are my age, all of my friends, are starting to look at life like, ‘Okay, well maybe I’m ready to like move out of my parents’ house,’ ” Thomas said in an interview with CNN.

“Having her providing us with the access to better be able to like compete in that market and actually sustain ourselves in that market, I only hope for the best and I feel like we can only go up from there.”

Thomas says she’s still undecided but leaning toward Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren because of her student debt cancellation proposals. Still, for Thomas, “anything that can help the black community as a whole? I’m always going to support.”

The California senator’s proposal also would increase funding for the Housing Education and Counseling (HEC) program, which provides financial literacy for first time homeowners.

“By taking these steps we can shrink the wealth gap between black and white households by at least one third,” Harris said.

In May, Harris reintroduced her 2018 bill to tackle racial disparities in maternal health and rolled out her proposal to fine companies that don’t achieve pay equity.

Harris’ education proposal — her first major policy as a presidential candidate — would boost teacher pay, make additional investments in public schools and support programs dedicated to teacher recruitment, training and professional development, particularly at historically black colleges and universities.

Brenda Hunt, a 61-year-old law enforcement officer, said Harris’ proposals like teacher pay and now black home ownership, along with her debate performance are reasons why the California senator is her leading candidate.

“She’s helping those that try and strive so hard to achieve something, but they can’t because they just don’t know how — she’s laying down on a good path,” Hunt told CNN. “If we can help her get in and she can get it done, we can finally see a better change because Obama started it, but the current person is setting us back.”

Harris’ housing proposal is the beginning of her campaign rollout of a multi-pronged agenda specifically aimed at fixing issues that disproportionately affect people of color.

“And in the coming weeks I’ll announce new investments to support black entrepreneurs and business owners by increasing access to credit and capital,” Harris said Saturday.

Circling back to the strides that black woman have made in the country, Harris grounded her candidacy in that of black activists and politicians.

“The fight of black women has always been fueled and grounded in faith and in the belief in what is possible,” Harris said.

“We have always built the future that we can see, and believe in, and fight for. It’s why Sojourner spoke. It’s why Mae flew. It’s why Rosa and Claudette sat. It’s why Maya wrote. It’s why Fannie organized. It’s why Shirley ran. And why I stand here as a candidate for President of the United States.”

™ & © 2019 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

Originally Published: 06 JUL 19 12:33 ET
Updated: 06 JUL 19 16:19 ET

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  • steve

    If you ever needed an example of racism prompted by lunacy, this is it. I’m guessing that one of these days the Americans that believe in themselves rather than the government are going to seriously say enough is, and has been, enough. Liberalism is destroying our country.

  • Wings

    Total Discrimination against ALL the people who are not black.
    This lady will never get my vote and she has her personel agenda against all races but blacks.
    She is the racist here.

    • C

      You can recognize insanity when you see it, but there are an awful lot of people who either cannot or will not do the same for a variety of reasons. According to some, she’s one of the best the Democrats have to offer as a candidate. That ought to scare the living hell out of every American, regardless of race, gender, or party affiliation.

  • markvws

    Little known facts of American History from Donald J. Trump:
    When George Washington captured the British airports, it hastened the end of the Revolutionary War (1775-1783). The most amazing fact is that he, and his brave men, did it on horseback.
    Fort McHenry, in Maryland, was the place where Francis Scott Key wrote the words to the Star Spangled Banner when he saw the flag was still there after another major battle of the Revolutionary War. It was another great victory for George Washington. (The battle of Fort McHenry took place on Sept. 13/14, 1814 as part of the War of 1812, 1812-1815).
    That great American hero Paul Revere rode through the nation warning the people; 1 if by land, 2 if by sea, 3 if by air.

    • lml25

      Little known fact,but better known now–you’re not funny. I’ll point out that Trump already commented on this,and also,in case you think your remark is important in the least– and that you’ve humbled Trump with your remark–he won’t see it.Trump will never know that the flawless,perfect,MarkVWS posted this grievious mistake that Trump made–when the teleprompter broke–and his supporters wont care.He was laughing about it.So congratulations are in order to you–for pointing out absolutely nothing.

    • dace

      so he made a teleprompter mistake reading AIRport vs. port. And that’s your take on this article? YOU and your party is what C is trying to say. YOU scare the hell out of me.

  • Matt

    Well hopefully my mortgage will identify as a student loan or i can identify as black. Either way if a dem gets elected i can skip out on paying my bills! MAGA 2020

  • Robert E Lee

    Racist B! If elected this women will bring civil war. She is the racist she is the one that wants to keep people (blacks) in a separate group from everyone else. Blacks do not need help getting a home. Blacks that are not working need to work hard like the Mexicans and other people to achieve your dream of home ownership. I worked for 30 yrs for 10-12 bucks an hour. I got sick of having nothing. So I found a very small restaurant I could rent. the guy gave me 2 mos free rent to get in there. I had 200.00 bucks to my name. a year and a half later I am making 50k per year. work harder! do something! stop taking the handout they just keep you down. Down with socialists and ANTIFA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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