When it Comes to Homeownership, Why Are African Americans Living in the Red?

HOmesAlthough there have been great strides and SOME progress made since the days of racial segregation and inequalities, according to a piece that appeared on Slate?s website in July it appears that the Black community is still a large target for inequality especially in the housing market. This realization comes from a variety of factors and circumstances that need to be addressed.

Unscrupulous Lenders
?There are definitely reasons for this unfair housing market when it comes to the attaining real estate, one of which involves the coaxing of uninformed consumers into investing in properties with risky loans and unfair terms on loans. In the years before 2012, banks like Wells Fargo targeted African Americans and other minorities into investing in properties with unfair loans. These sub prime loans were the demise of many families who could not keep up with the payments and thus fell victim to these unfair practices.

Lack of Employment?
Another factor that is affecting the Black community’s ability to attain and secure homeownership is the lack of employment available. As of 2013, the level for unemployment for the Black community was more than 21 percent among 16 to 24 year olds. The national average for this same demographic is 14.2 percent. Without being able to obtain gainful employment, the young sector in the Black community has a slim chance of gaining any ground to invest in homes and properties. ??

Lower Pay?
On average, African Americans earn less than that of other groups, which means they have less of a chance of being able to save money needed for the down payment on a home. For those who are able to save this money, often they are still living at a level of trying to keep the payments current on a less than minimum wage or ?just livable? amount of income. As the price of living is increased but the incomes stay the same, more African Americans find that they have to sell or foreclose their properties in favor of renting. Having to take this option forces these individuals to take up residence in less than favorable areas of the city, furthering the gap between the rich and the poor. ??

Although there are issues between the employment rate, earnings bracket and fair lending terms, the Black community has made progress toward equality in the housing industry. There are still many inequalities that need to be addressed. With the backing of the ACLU and organizations such as the National Consumer Law Center, steps are being taken to eradicate this racial discrimination in the housing industry.

Read more at Slate.

For a related article on homeownership, CLICK HERE.