Tapping the Ethnic Housing Market
Opportunities and Challenges for Housing Lenders and Realtors
The tables in the text make it clear that there is a large gap between the minority population and the general population in regard to knowledge and education about the housing market. Housing discrimination and unethical lending practices are at the root of this problem. Housing and communities remain segregated despite all of the progress America has made since the Civil Rights Movement. Minorities are more likely to live in low income communities and also suffer the side effects of poverty such as a lack of education and job opportunities (Fight Poverty, 2012).
Past research has shown that minorities are, in fact, treated differently both when trying to rent or buy a home. While evidence indicates that incidents of housing discrimination are decreasing, it is still a significant problem. There are noted cases of whites being chosen over minorities to rent an apartment based on nothing other than color. In addition, African American and Hispanic people attempting to buy a home are sometimes shown lower quality homes and given less quality information about the home buying process. This of course leads to minorities being taken advantage of in the form of not knowing about different types of loan options or down payments (HUD, 2012).
As further evidence of housing discrimination, Section 8 properties are often frequently protested by non minority community members to the point that community meetings are held on the topic. It seems that non-minorities would rather keep Housing Projects and low-income housing in crowded urban areas. In addition, homes in predominantly white areas rise in value at a much higher and faster rate than do similar homes in lower income areas where a high percentage of minorities live (Seitles, 2012). Furthermore, as tables in the text indicate, language is a major barrier, as Spanish Hispanics consistently scored very low...
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