African American homeownership falls to 50-year low

By | March 2, 2017

After fair housing legislation was passed in 1968 during the Civil Rights era, the black homeowership rate increased for 30 years and reached nearly 50 percent in 2004, but all those gains have been erased in the last 12 years.

The homeownership rate for black households ended 2016 at 41.7 percent, near a 50-year low, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Black homeownership hasn’t been this low since the time when housing discrimination was legal.

Equally troubling to advocates is a widening gap between black homeownership and other major ethnic groups. The black homeownership rate is now 30.5 percentage points lower than non-Hispanic whites (72.2 percent) and 22 percentage points lower than the national homeownership rate of 63.7 percent. It is also 4.6 percentage points lower than the Hispanic homeownership rate, the group with the next-lowest homeownership rate among the major ethnic groups, at 46.3 percent as of year-end 2016.

The falling homeownership rate has deep social implications for future African American communities and neighborhoods, according to advocates. (Scotsman Guide)

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