The late Langston Hughes created a masterful body of poetry in the 20th Century that spoke about and to Black America’s unique experiences. Also an author and playwright, his words in all media pricked our consciousness to wonder and ponder how we somehow remained so different from others after living more than 200 years in this land.

One of my favorite Hughes poems asks the question, “What happens to a dream deferred?” Today, that one question is as timeless as it is timely.

Why is it that in 2017 Black homeownership is still deferred for so many?

Every year, the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) report provides an update on mortgage lending over the past year. It is the only national report that examines lending by race and incomes. In 2016, an analysis of mortgage lending by the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL) underscores how once again dreams of homeownership are still being deferred nationwide:

•Blacks had the highest denial rate in mortgage applications of any ethnic group, and was double the denial rate experienced by Whites;

•Black consumers received just 3.1 percent or 65,451 of the 2,123,000 conventional mortgage purchase loans made in 2016;

•When Black and Latino conventional mortgage purchase loans were combined, the percentage increased to only 9 percent for the year; and

•FHA purchase mortgages performed a bit better for Black consumers at 10.6 percent—142,329 out of 866,000.

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