Archive for May, 2009

Minority home ownership down but not out

Sunday, May 24th, 2009

In a recent New York Times article, the headline screams: “home ownership losses are greatest among minorities”. Given that African and Hispanic Americans were more likely to get subprime loans during the housing heyday up to 2006, you would think they would be the most negatively impacted by more recent foreclosures and more stringent mortgage approval standards.

In reviewing the research conducted by the Pew Research Center that the Times used to reach this conclusion, it does not appear that the news is as bad as the headline purports. Overall home ownership reached a peak of 69% in 2004 and declined to 67.8% in 2008. During the same time period, whites fell from 76.1% to 74.9%, Asians 60.8% to 59.1%, Blacks 49.4% to 47.5%, and Hispanics 49.8% to 48.9%. While home ownership rates declined more than the average for Asian and African Americans, the differences were marginal. And Hispanic declines were less than average, especially for more recent immigrants.

That said, the future does not look bright. African and Hispanic Americans are still two or three times more likely to get a subprime loan, pay 3 percentage points more for it, and borrow more for the same income levels when compared to whites.

This could lead to another foreclosure crisis, and we are still feeling the effects of the last one. But lets not jump the gun by making things sound worse than they really are today.

Ethnicmajority housing page.

Obama’s impact on race relations

Thursday, May 7th, 2009

After Barack Obama became the country’s first African American President, I wrote on the Blog that we shouldn’t jump the gun on assuming America had become a color-blind society. Maybe I was wrong.

According to a New York Times public opinion poll, two thirds of the public feel that race relations are generally good, up 25% since last July. The percentage of African Americans answering affirmatively doubled during the same time period.

Obama’s election has accomplished what no affirmative action program ever could – convincing the public that diversity might actually be a good thing. Whereas much of the public views affirmative action a modern version of forced integration, Obama was the public’s choice.

Just as the Cosby show in the 80′s portrayed African Americans in counter-stereotypical way, Obama’s performance in the world’s toughest job and the class of the Obama family on display for all the world to see has definitely opened a lot of eyes. And a lot of minds.

Ethnicmajority politics page.

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