For generations, accumulated inequality, racism, and discrimination have locked Black families out of intergenerational wealth that white families have been able to rely on. For too many Black families in New York City, even inheriting a home does not lead to sustained homeownership. In response, the Center for NYC Neighborhoods has launched a new estate planning program, “Generation 2 Generation”, aimed at preserving and growing intergenerational wealth in Black households across New York City. By ensuring equity is not lost or stolen when a home passes from one generation to another, individual families will be able to build and retain wealth, as well as reduce the racial wealth gap. The initiative was created through the Center’s Black Homeownership Project and funded through an investment by JP Morgan Chase.

“For far too long, a legacy of racist housing practices has made it impossible for many Black families in the city to tap into the equity-building, cross-generational benefits of homeownership. Inheriting a home does not automatically lead to sustained homeownership — systems must be in place to protect it,” said Christie Peale, CEO and Executive Director of the Center. “The first of many efforts to protect intergenerational Black wealth, Generation 2 Generation will provide a critical solution to address the growing racial wealth gap and decline of Black homeownership in New York City.”

The Black Homeownership Project launched in March 2021 after research found that the number of Black homeowner households in New York City had significantly declined over the past 20 years. The Project proposed five recommended pilot programs to increase Black homeownership and close the racial wealth gap. Generation 2 Generation is the first pilot program to launch.

Over the next two years, G2G will educate and engage Black homeowners on the necessity of proactive estate planning, as well as expand the availability of free estate planning services. G2G will work with community based organizations to provide free of charge instructional workshops on drafting wills and creating trusts and estates, and will offer individualized legal consultations for low- and moderate-income households.

Other program initiatives include providing estate planning materials to community partners, leveraging existing partnerships with government agencies to embed estate planning information in communications and other homeowner resources, and creating workshop curricula and materials to be deployed in targeted areas city-wide, particularly Central Brooklyn and the North Bronx. G2G will also fund nonprofit partners that already provide estate planning to enhance their capacity and impact of their services, as well as share best practices in real-time.