February 9, 2021 — Issue Brief

After racial justice protests and Black Lives Matter activism last summer, advocates and policymakers have proposed a number of programs for lessening the yawning racial disparities in Black-white homeownership and wealth. These include proposals for downpayment assistance, homeownership counseling, and special lending programs for Black borrowers. The latter are referred to as “special purpose credit programs” (SPCPs) under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA), which allows SPCPs that explicitly consider race or other protected classes if certain criteria are met.