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The Housing Crisis Pushed Black Homeownership Rate Below 1990 Level

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"The Housing Crisis Pushed Black Homeownership Rate Below 1990 Level"

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Photo by flickr user gilsonrome

The housing crisis created a drop in homeownership rates across the board, but the number of Black and Latino homeowners decreased at a significantly higher level than it did for white Americans. A new report from the Bipartisan Policy Center reveals an astounding drop in homeownership rates among people of color. Specifically, the Black community saw levels of homeownership drop to pre-1990s levels:

Between 2004–2006 and 2010, however, homeownership rates dropped sharply, and more so for Hispanic and black households than for white non-Hispanics. The overall homeownership rate of 65.1 percent in April 2010 was 1.1 percentage points lower than 10 years earlier. Blacks ended the 2010s with a lower homeownership rate, 44.3 percent, than their 1990 rate of 45.2 percent and two percentage points lower than just 10 years earlier… The homeownership rate for black non-Hispanics now lags the white non-Hispanic rate by nearly 28 percentage points, compared with 26 points in 2000 and just less than 25 points in 1990…..

…While the housing crisis has hurt people of all races and ethnicities, it has been devastating for many Hispanic and black families, reducing their median wealth by one half to two-thirds and significantly increasing the number of households with negative net worth.

Image courtesy of the Bipartisan Policy Center

The correlation between skin color and homeownership is not coincidental; during the housing crisis, Black and Latino homeowners were twice as likely to be foreclosed on. Indeed, in California Black and Latino homeowners are said to make up 50% of foreclosures but only 30% of homeowners.

During the housing crisis, the Center for American Progress found, there were huge racial disparities in the makeup of high-priced lending with banks targeting people of color. One of the banks that received a government bailout, was even accused of having steered people of color toward subprime loans. Undoubtedly, these dubious and racist banking practices led to the homeownership numbers we see today.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is now taking steps to ensure the end of discriminatory lending practices. The damage, however, seems to have been done.

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