- Economic Security Has Improved: Businesses have added over 14 million jobs over 70 straight months of job growth, which sets a new record. From 16.8% in March 2010 to 8.3% in December 2015, this job growth has helped but the African American unemployment rate in half and is at its lowest level since 2007.
- College Is More Accessible & Affordable: Increasing the maximum Pell Grant by more than $1000 and total Pell Grant by 70%, President Obama signed legislation to help millions of low to moderate income students afford college every year. He’s also taken steps to reduce student loan burdens including student loan interest rates to historic lows and capping student loan payments. The president also established and made permanent the American Opportunity Tax Credit, which provides a tax cut of up to $10,000 over four years for nearly 10 million working and middle class families a year paying for college.
- Made Home Ownership More Affordable: The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) has long been an important source of financing for African American families seeking to buy their first home. Nearly half of African American families used FHA to get a mortgage. During his presidency, Obama had the FHA create a major new step to make buying a home more affordable and accessible for creditworthy families. The FHA reduced its annual mortgage insurance premiums by half a percentage point. For the typical homebuyer, this translates into a $900 reduction in their annual mortgage payment. Existing homeowners who refinance into a FHA mortgage saw similar reductions in their mortgage payments as well. Following the reduction in 2015 the number of Black borrowers (new purchases or refinance) with an FHA loan increased by nearly 50%.
Black people were hit especially hard by the housing crisis. The President took action to help homeowners, including expanding access to refinancing, which allowed responsible borrowers to save an average of $3,000 per year. The Administration has taken measures to allow homeowners who are behind on their payments to modify their mortgages to avoid foreclosure.
- Prevented Families from Financial Abuses, Hidden Fees, and Deceptive Practices: To prevent mortgage companies, credit card lenders, and payday loan companies from exploiting consumers with hidden fees and other deceptive practices, President Obama fought to pass the most far-reaching Wall Street reform in history which created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
- Helped the Long-Term Unemployed Get Back to Work: The Obama Administration took steps to help more of the long-term unemployed get back to work, and around one-quarter of whom are African-American. The Department of Labor awarded nearly $170 million in “Ready to Work Partnership” grants to support the best models for partnerships between employers, non-profits, and the job training system to help train and connect the long-term unemployed to work.
- Increased Funding to HBCUs: Federal funding to HBCUs grew each year since 2009. Through the Higher Education Act, HBCUs received a $17 million funding increase in 2016—the largest increase for the federal program in six years. And President Obama’s FY 2017 budget seeks to maintain and strengthen these opportunities for HBCUs to build their capacity. The FY 2017 budget proposes $85 million in mandatory funding to HBCUs, an increase of $5 million from FY 2016, plus an additional $244.7 million in discretionary funds for Title III.