Sunday, October 25, 2020

Middle-Class Minorities Priced Out of Booming West Coast Markets

According to a report published last week, less than five percent of homes for sale were affordable for middle-class African-American and Hispanic families in 2016. The report zeroed in on the ever-widening homeownership gap between white and nonwhite American families.

“[America] is at risk of becoming a renter nation in our largest and wealthiest metros, where middle-class and working-class families are increasingly unable to achieve the American dream of homeownership,” the report read. “Without policy change, fast-growing U.S. cities will continue to cement a slow-growth economy where people decline to move to where the good jobs are because it’s too expensive to live there.”

The study identified that only 14 percent of homes in the U.S.’s 30 largest metro cities were affordable for families earning the median income for Black households, with 18 percent affordable for people earning the median income for Latino households. While there has been an overall decline in affordable homes across the 30 metro markets, communities of color have been hit the hardest due to their already low rates of ownership.

“The share of affordable listings was mostly flat over the past four years, down just 0.1 percent overall,” according to the study. “Baltimore [down 0.6 percent] and Washington D.C., down 0.8 percent had the second- and third-smallest declines in affordability, respectively.”

The study’s researchers concluded that in order to combat the issue of housing affordability among middle-class, nonwhite families, federal and state governments must reward communities that switch to inclusionary zoning methods by offering them infrastructure investments to enhance their neighborhoods. In addition, current tax policies that benefit already wealthy house owners must be altered to help middle-class minorities looking to purchase their first home.

Atlanta Black Star