CHARLENE CROWELL

CHARLENE CROWELL

In recent weeks, a spate of news coverage has referred to America’s “inner cities”. Some may even interpret it as a new code word for minorities, usually referring to Blacks and Latinos.

Yet today, according to Richard Rothstein, a research associate with the Economic Policy Institute, the inner city experience does not encompass all of Black America. More Blacks now live in the suburbs than in urban ghettos, and approximately one-third of Black Americans have incomes higher than that of the respective median earnings.

So why is access to homeownership still so out of reach for consumers of color? Why do so many Blacks and Latinos continue to suffer disproportionate denials for mortgage loans?

A recent analysis of the 2015 Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data by the Center for Responsible Lending sheds further light on the fact that even years after a national recovery from the housing collapse, the American Dream remains elusive for much of Black America.

“The HMDA data has shown a persistent difference in denial rates by race and ethnicity and this year is no exception,” wrote CRL. “20.8 percent of African-American applicants were denied a loan in 2015 compared to 16.1 percent of Hispanic applicants and 10 percent of non-Hispanic white applicants.”

Last year more than 6 million home purchase mortgages were made, but only 51,202 or 2.7 percent were conventional loans to Black home buyers. By comparison, non-Hispanic Whites received 1,361,564 conventional loans, and Latinos received 96,975 of these loans. Conventional loans are the most widely available and often the most cost-effective and sustainable mortgages available.

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