By Chinta Strausberg, Chicago Crusader
The state of Blacks in housing hasn’t changed that much from the 1960s, according to a recent study. Blacks are still being denied access to the capital they need to achieve the America dream of owning their own homes.
The study, issued by Representative LaShawn Ford (D-8th), the NAACP, and the Dearborn Realtist Board, is titled, “State of Housing in Black America.” It was commissioned by the Association of Real Estate Brokers, Board of Directors, 2016. The study points out that Black homeownership is lower than the national homeownership during the 1920’s Great Depression.
Ford and other leaders like Phyllis Logan, executive director of the Universal Housing Solutions CDC, a non-profit organization, and Tracey Taylor, president of the Dearborn Realtist Board, an organization of African American real estate professionals founded in 1941, placed the blame of low Black home ownership squarely on the shoulders of unfair lending practices that create a red zone around the Black community.
These economic barriers, Ford said, amount to “the robbing of black and brown of home equity and access to credit” they need to fulfill their American dream of homeownership.
The reason for low Black home ownership is that Blacks “have never enjoyed equal access to mainstream mortgage credit,” according to the study. Rather, African Americans “have been trapped either in a vicious cycle of predatory mortgage schemes, or by an absolute denial of access to home loans” which create a “racial wealth divide.”
The study was unveiled during a press conference held at Malcolm X College. It was later presented at a town hall meeting. The study pointed out that housing regulators could care less about the affects of the fallout from 1.2 million foreclosures caused primarily by predatory lenders.
“Poor housing and infrastructure is one of the root causes for the spike of violent crimes in our communities,” said Representative Ford, who is a licensed realtor. “When there is an abundance of vacant property in a neighborhood, property values drop and residents bear a burden that usually leads to a lack of commercial development and food options.”