Black Home Ownership Hits 18 Year Low
Helene Pearson’s belief in home ownership was shattered in Roseland, the mostly black Chicago neighborhood where President Barack Obama got his start as a community organizer.
Pearson, who bought her two-bedroom, redbrick bungalow on South Calumet Avenue in Roseland for $160,000 in 2006 with a high-interest loan, put it on the market a year ago for $55,000 and didn’t attract a single offer. Her bank has agreed to take it back.
Pearson, 35, a guidance counselor and mother of two girls, said, “This scarred me so badly that I never want to buy again.”
For most Americans the real estate crash is finally behind them and personal wealth is back where it was in the boom. For blacks in the United States, 18 years of economic progress has vanished, with a rebound in housing slipping out of reach and the unemployment rate almost twice that of whites.
The home ownership rate for blacks fell from 50 percent during the housing bubble to 43 percent in the second quarter, the lowest since 1995. The rate for whites stopped falling two years ago, settling at about 73 percent, only 3 percentage points below the 2004 peak, according to the Census Bureau.
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