This study seeks to determine the causal effect that critical home repairs have on the preservation of Black wealth in neighborhoods vulnerable to displacement.  May 8 is working with the Partnership for Housing Affordability in Richmond Virginia with funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.  Utilizing data obtained from surveys conducted among low-income Black households enrolled in or awaiting enrollment in the Critical Home Repairs program managed by project:HOMES in the Richmond, Virginia region, the study evaluates household repair needs and the ramifications of completing such repairs on families’ financial and overall well-being. The research will survey 65 homeowners both before and after they receive repairs and use as a control group 100 homeowners currently on the program’s waitlist. Additionally, interviews with homeowners will offer insights into the broader connection that low-income Black households have with their homes in Richmond neighborhoods undergoing gentrification. Demographic and housing market data will complement the analysis to identify neighborhoods with heightened rates of displacement and housing instability. The study will answer such critical questions as:

What is the collective impact of home repairs on the financial wealth and well-being of low-income Black households?

Do the barriers to accessing home repairs contribute to the loss of Black wealth?

Does the delay in receiving home repairs result in the loss of Black wealth?

The hypothesis posits that critical home repairs will positively influence the ability of low-income Black households to maintain residence stability and safeguard their wealth. Furthermore, it is anticipated that households remaining on the waitlist will experience adverse effects on their wealth and overall well-being. The study also aims to define the significance of home repair programs as tools against displacement and their importance in programs designed to preserve Black homeownership and Black wealth.