The Biden administration announced on Tuesday that a plan to spend more than $60 billion to build wealth among the Black community to narrow the racial wealth gap in the US.
“The Biden-Harris Administration is announcing new steps to help narrow the racial wealth gap and reinvest in communities that have been left behind by failed policies,” the White House said in a statement. “Specifically, the Administration is expanding access to two key wealth-creators – homeownership and small business ownership – in communities of color and disadvantaged communities.”
It said $31 billion will go into small business programs that increase access to capital for small businesses. This will also provide mentoring, networking and other forms of technical assistance to socially and economically disadvantaged businesses seeking to access federal contracts and participation in federal research and development investments.
Some $15 billion will be allocated for new grants and technical assistance to support the planning, removal, or retrofitting of existing transportation infrastructure that creates a barrier to community connectivity, including barriers to mobility, access, or economic development.
A $10 billion “Community Revitalization Fund” will be set up to support community-led civic infrastructure projects that create innovative shared amenities, generate new local economic activity, provide services, build community wealth, and strengthen social cohesion.
Another $5 billion will be invested through a so-called Unlocking Possibilities Program that reduces needless barriers to producing affordable housing and expands housing choices for people with low or moderate incomes.
The homeownership program will be twinned with a “Neighborhood Homes Tax Credit” to attract private investment in the development and rehabilitation of affordable homes for low- and moderate-income homebuyers and homeowners.
The measures were announced on the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre, when mobs of white residents, many of them deputized and given weapons by city officials, attacked Black residents and burned businesses of the Greenwood District in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The thriving Black community, known as the “Black Wall Street,” was particularly targeted in the attack that killed an estimated 300 people from the community and left another 10,000 destitute and homeless.