Data and Impact

Kent County is the 5th worst county for equitable homeownership.

A recent examination of U.S. census data found that Kent County ranked near the bottom when comparing homeownership rates among Black and white households. The gap between the white homeownership rate (76%) and Black homeownership rate (36%) is 40 points. This gap places Kent County at 144th out of 149 comparable counties across the nation, the 5th worst. Kent County can do better. Since home equity can strengthen financial stability and even create generational wealth, an equitable housing system must involve new pathways to homeownership for residents that have historically been excluded from fair access.

Among 149 comparable counties in the nation, Kent County ranks 144th in the size of the gap between black and white homeownership rates. Source: American Community Survey estimated by county for 2017 to 2020. Source: 2020 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates.
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Homelessness is on the rise, especially for families with children.

The number of people experiencing homelessness in Kent County is on the rise. Nearly two-thirds of that increase is among children and adults in family units. Understanding the unique circumstances of different household compositions–such as families with children or unaccompanied adults–helps us design a housing system that meets the needs of every resident of Kent County.

Alarming racial disparities persist.

African Americans make up only 12% of Kent County’s total population, but 72% of all the children and adults in the family homelessness-response system. Approximately one out of every six African American children experience homelessness in a given year, compared with one in 160 white children. Our commitment to eliminate racial disparities in housing outcomes begins by making them visible.

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Nearly half of renters cannot afford their housing.

In Kent County, nearly half of all renters are housing cost-burdened, which means they pay more than 30% of their household budget toward housing costs. Homeownership is not everyone’s preference, but choosing to rent should not mean heightened risk for housing instability down the road. A healthier, more affordable rental market will ensure families can choose the housing type that best meets their needs.

Our Vision for Kent County

We envision a housing system where all residents have access to safe, quality, affordable housing in their neighborhood of choice.