2020 Urban Research Award: Mixed-methods Study of Female Homeownership in U.S. Cities

PI: Japonica Brown-Saracino, PhD, Professor, Department of Sociology, College of Arts & Sciences and BU Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies Program
Co-PI: Robin Bartram, PhD, Assistant Professor of Sociology, Tulane University

Despite lower wages, single women buy more houses than single men, and rates of single male and female homeownership vary substantially across U.S. cities. The origins, history, or varying rates have yet to be studied, and the consequences of gendered homeownership patterns, for homeowners and cities, still need to be understood.

photo of Japonica Brown-Saracino
Japonica Brown-Saracino

Through the analysis of American Community Service data, researchers will identify correlations between rates of female homeowners and indicators of social and economic inequality. Housing-specific data will also be analyzed. Qualitative methods will also be employed, and researchers will triangulate analysis of public and private records, surveys, and interviews.

This project will reveal mechanisms connecting cities, patterns in female homeownership, and social and economic equality. While it will take homeownership as its primary subject, the study will provide a model for research on how cities contribute to gender equality and inequities.