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Cityscape: Volume 22 Number 1 | Housing Tenure and Financial Security


Housing Tenure and Financial Security

Volume 22 Number 1

Mark D. Shroder
Michelle P. Matuga

Homeownership Experiences Following Criminal Justice Contact

Brielle Bryan
Rice University

Recent work has highlighted the significance of incarceration for wealth accrual and African-American- White gaps in homeownership, but the monetary sanctions and disruptions to employment that often accompany even low-level criminal justice contact may also have important consequences for individual homeownership and racial disparities in homeownership. Using data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997 (NLSY97), this article considers the potential of a broad variety of criminal justice system interactions to shape homeownership experiences among young adults. Using a variety of models to address concerns of unobserved confounding, I investigate how arrest, criminal charges, conviction, and incarceration relate to (1) probability of homeownership, (2) age of entry into first homeownership, and (3) homeownership duration. Results indicate that, like incarceration, these lower level forms of criminal justice contact are independently associated with lower levels of homeownership, delayed entry into homeownership, and shorter duration of homeownership among respondents who succeed in becoming homeowners. Given the importance of homeownership for individual wealth accumulation and racial wealth gaps, as well as sizable racial disparities in criminal justice contact in the United States, these findings illuminate a potentially important pathway through which racial disparities in socioeconomic well-being are reinforced.

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