Lending, Race, and High Income Households

UPDATE 2024-05-22: Added the Misc section to near the end of the post.

The Fair Housing Center of West Michign has published the "The Role of Mortgage Lenders In Shaping Our Neighborhoods" report. The document covers the deep and deepening economic chasm between white and non-white households, at least in terms of home ownership, in Kent County. And the report breaks down the city distinct from the county, and then down to the neighborhood level, which makes it ideal to look at here. It is a well written report, more readable and to-the-point than many housing policy documents.


The conclusion of the report begins with the words:

While the data may be bleak, ...

which, indeed, very much sums it up.

Of course, as a public document, it is obligated to end on some note of hopefulness. Yet the attempt at if-we-can-all-come-together rings very hollow; we have known, essentially, all of this for at least a decade. And for that decade we've accomplished nothing. We had almost a decade of ideal economic circumstances to fundamentally change the housing market during which we did very nearly nothing. Our leaders talked about "hard conversations"; what they did not do was make courageous decisions. Instead of leadership we had reports, such as the "Great Housing Strategies" (2015), and whatever "Housing NOW" was [and ultimately was not]. 😢

The report is a truly depressing and infuriating read.

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