Racial Disparities in Home Appreciation

Racial Disparities in Home Appreciation

More than fifty years after the final report of the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders (the Kerner Report) highlighted how racism, discrimination, and segregation in housing, employment, and education perpetuate structural barriers to economic equality for African Americans — and the Fair Housing Act was passed to address those issues — housing discrimination and residential segregation continue to impede black homebuyers' efforts to build equity, a report from the Center for American Progress finds. The report, Racial Disparities in Home Appreciation (HTML or PDF, 38 pages), found that while residential segregation and most overt forms of housing discrimination have been addressed, new forms of discrimination have become more common, including racial "steering" (in which real estate agents deliberately steer African Americans toward neighborhoods with a larger concentration of people of color, higher levels of poverty, and/or lower housing quality). According to the study, African-American mortgage borrowers remain concentrated in more segregated areas where homes fail to appreciate at the same rate as those in neighborhoods where white mortgage borrowers are more likely to buy. Indeed, in 2017, home prices in neighborhoods where African Americans typically buy were still 7 percent lower than their 2006 pre-recession levels, whereas home prices in white neighborhoods were 2 percent higher. To help address such disparities, the report's authors call on the  U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to reinstate and strengthen fair housing policies — which have been scaled back by the Trump administration — including once again making local jurisdictions responsible for enforcing fair housing laws and empowering federal, state, and local government and nonprofits to enforce the Fair Housing Act.