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Minorities Trail Whites In Homeownership Rates

by Peter Thomas Ricci

Minority groups continue to struggle on the road to recovery from the foreclosure crisis, with homeownership rates significantly behind whites.

homeownership-rate-by-ethnicity-census-bureau

Although the Hispanic community recorded an increase of new homeowners in 2012 – and the amount dipped for the black and white population – Hispanics and the other minority groups still lag behind whites in overall homeownership rates.

According to homeownership data recently updated by the U.S. Census Bureau, non-Hispanic whites owned 73 percent of America’s homes in 2013’s second quarter. Hispanic and black homeowners accounted for 45.9 percent and 42.9 percent, respectively.

People who listed their race as Asian, Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, American Indian or Alaska Native or as a combination of races owned 54.5 percent of homes.

The Hispanic rate is slightly lower than its 2012 rate of 46.1 percent and suggests the community is still feeling the effects from the foreclosure crisis. Since 2008, the Hispanic rate has gradually declined from 49.7 percent.

Meanwhile, the rate of black homeowners is at its lowest since 1995, a reality that Houston broker Courtney Johnson Rose said exists because of the black community’s lack of experience building credit, according to a report by Fox 26 Houston.

“African Americans were more prone to get what’s called predatory loans,” Johnson Rose told Fox. “There is a lack of education in our community about credit and the importance of paying things on time.”

As that education trickles through the community, some real estate professionals are trying to get people into affordable homes.

Through a Houston neighborhood stabilization plan, Gerald Womack, developer of some new homes in the city’s Sunnyside neighbordhood, told Fox that some homes could be had for a monthly fee of $800. Womack, president of the Houston Black Realtors Association, told Fox that this and similar opportunities are a chance for people in the black community to possess assets.

“This is your time,” Womack said. “This is your time to build that wealth and become part of home ownership.”

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