New report shows black homeownership down significantly in Pittsburgh

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PHOTO VIA SHUTTERSTOCK

JThe Pittsburgh Community Reinvestment Group released a report detailing a decline in black homeownership in the Pittsburgh area. The numbers, he said, were grim.

“The failure to move the needle on Black property in Pittsburgh continues to enable the racial and socioeconomic segregation that plagues our region,” John Boyle, research analyst and report author, said in a statement.

The 2020 census shows a decline of 10,500 black residents in the city of Pittsburgh over the past decade, suggesting migration to surrounding areas where housing is more affordable, the report said. The cost of living in Pittsburgh has skyrocketed, and the area has also seen an increase in corporate home buying, in which real estate companies buy homes and turn them into rental properties with high rents, instead of allow their sale. All of these issues reduce home ownership opportunities for black people. As the stock of affordable housing declines, so do Black residents who have the opportunity to acquire capital for generational wealth.

“Many first-time black buyers don’t have access to the credit and capital needed to buy a home with favorable mortgage terms,” ​​said Colin Kelley, CEO of NeighborWorks Western Pennsylvania. “As we have seen since the launch of a down payment assistance loan program last year, there is a huge need for products and resources to make home ownership more affordable and accessible. “

The report also found that more than 75% of black Pittsburgh residents live in areas with poverty, vacant homes, single-parent households, lower household incomes, and lower education levels for people over 25. years are prevalent. Similarly, the median household income for black households was less than half that of white households from 2015 to 2019, which impacted the number of black loan applicants and the number of loan approvals.

For example, the report says 2,321 mortgage applications were submitted by black applicants in Pittsburgh and Allegheny County, with 46.8% ending in loans, compared to 40,186 mortgage applications submitted by applicants. whites with 67.1% loan approval in 2013. There were about 16 home purchases. nominations of white candidates for each black nomination from 2013 to 2020.

Additionally, research shows that black applicants were denied 12.5% ​​more because of their credit history than white applicants. Even comparing low-to-moderate income white households to low-to-moderate income black households, the origin rate for whites was 15.8% higher than for black households over the past eight years.

“Black residents face several issues when it comes to buying a home. From not having a high enough credit score to being flatly denied,” said Jerome Jackson, chairman of the board of the Pittsburgh Community Reinvestment Group. and Executive Director of Operation Better Block.”The community needs an advocate like [the group] continue to bring these issues before the financial institutions.

To counter the troubling trends highlighted by the report, the group offered policy recommendations, including the passage of legislation to create a statewide community reinvestment law focused on equality. racial for banks, credit unions and mortgage companies. He also called on Pittsburgh to devote more resources to increasing the inventory of affordable housing through entities such as the Pittsburgh Land Bank and the Urban Redevelopment Authority, and to allocate additional funds to development programs. help with down payments and closing costs. Finally, he urges economic leaders and policymakers at the state and federal levels to address the wage disparity between black and white residents.

The group also outlined next steps, including working with financial institutions and other organizations to increase financial education programs and build trust in underserved communities.

“My goal is that this research can be the starting point for future programs and research into new and innovative ways to increase black homeownership in the Pittsburgh area,” Boyle said. “While Pittsburgh has always been hailed as an affordable city, that hasn’t always been the case for everyone in the city.”

You can read the full report here.

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