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Drop in Black Homeownership Rate Double that of Whites

Each year the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University assesses the nation's housing outlook. The recently-released The State of the Nation's Housing in 2014 reveals that troubled housing areas remain in the midst of rising prices, higher interest rates and low inventories.

According to the report, "Millions of homeowners, particularly in minority and high-poverty neighborhoods, are still underwater on their mortgages, while millions more renters have been forced to live in housing they cannot afford or is structurally inadequate. And with the ongoing growth in low-income households, housing assistance reaches a shrinking share of those in need."

A few more data points from the 2014 report reveal:

Homeownership rates have fallen six percentage points among Black households — double that among White households;

In 2011-12, Black applications for conventional mortgages were denied 40 percent of the time; among Hispanics, the denial rate was 25 percent – nearly two to three times that for whites; and

More than 25 percent of mortgage homeowners in both high-poverty and minority neighborhoods were underwater – owing more than their homes are now worth – in 2013. This rate is nearly twice the shares in either white or low-poverty neighborhoods.

For Mike Calhoun, president of the Center for Responsible Lending, these homeownership disparities reflect a devastating generational loss of wealth. Participating in a panel discussion with the Joint Center and other housing policy experts, Calhoun noted that the loss of homeownership in Black communities really reflected a one in six reduction, as Black homeownership peaked at 49 percent before the housing crisis.



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