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New Study Reveals Homeownership Challenges Among Black Americans

By Danielle Dorsey

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The Fair Housing Act, intended to prevent housing discrimination based on race, religion, and national origin, was passed more than 50 years ago, but Black homeownership rates haven’t changed much in the decades since. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the homeownership rate among white Americans is 73.2 percent, while the Black homeownership rate is 41.1 percent. The current rate of Black homeowners in America is less than 1 percent changed from the amount who owned their homes in 1970, down from 42 percent.

A new study released by LendingTree, the nation’s leading online loan marketplace, reveals how race affects homeownership rates in the nation’s 50 largest metropolitan areas. Results found that homeownership among Black Americans is disproportionately low relative to the overall population.

The report cites San Jose, Los Angeles, San Antonio, and Portland as the U.S. cities with the highest percentage of Black homeowners. Memphis, New Orleans, Baltimore, Virginia Beach, and Milwaukee — all cities will considerable Black populations — have the lowest rates of Black homeownership relative to their populations.

The study also found that Black Americans suffered from the lowest incomes of any racial group across the country’s 50 largest metropolitan areas. The average median household income for Black Americans was found to be $41,571, a staggering $30,000 below the average median household income for white Americans.

The Lending Tree report suggests that raising awareness about local and national homebuying options could help combat this unsettling trend. The study lists different loan options with guidance on required down payments and credit scores.

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