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Report: WI Among Worst States for Black Home Ownership

A report from the National Association of Realtors says Wisconsin has one of the lowest rates in the nation when it comes to black home ownership. (Adobe Stock)
A report from the National Association of Realtors says Wisconsin has one of the lowest rates in the nation when it comes to black home ownership. (Adobe Stock)
February 27, 2020

MADISON, Wis. -- Like many other northern states, Wisconsin has an low rate of home ownership among its black residents, according to the latest findings from the National Association of Realtors.

The NAR puts Wisconsin at third-lowest in the country with a rate of only 23%.

Ruben Anthony, president of the Urban League of Greater Madison, says he isn't surprised by the numbers, and calls the situation "problematic."

"It's problematic because home ownership allows people to experience the American dream," he states. "Home ownership allows people to wealth-build. This is just one of the disparities that Wisconsin should deal with, and deal with in an urgent way."

Anthony says the situation is especially alarming in his city. Madison's home ownership rate is just 10% for black families.

Anthony and other advocates say the industry needs to further examine the challenges African-Americans face when being considered for loans.

Iowa and Minnesota have rates similar to Wisconsin, while North Dakota's is tied for last at 8%.

Anthony says state and local leaders also need to create an environment where affordable housing stocks can grow. He says that isn't the case right now in his community.

"South Madison is one of the areas that you might find affordable houses in Madison, but as soon as those houses come on the market, they go," he relates.

Other possible solutions include zoning that doesn't create barriers for certain racial groups, and developers and local governments learning to avoid projects that foster the problems associated with gentrification.

Mike Moen, Public News Service - WI