Friday, October 7, 2022

Play

Following a settlement with tribes, SD phases In voting-access reforms; older voters: formidable factor in Maine gubernatorial race; walking: a simple way to boost heart health.

Play

Biden makes a major move on marijuana laws; the U.S. and its allies begin exercises amid North Korean threats; and Generation Z says it's paying close attention to the 2022 midterms.

Play

Rural residents are more vulnerable to a winter wave of COVID-19, branding could be key for rural communities attracting newcomers, and the Lummi Nation's totem pole made it from Washington state to D.C.

Foreclosure Prevention Takes On MN's Racial Housing Gap

Play

Friday, July 15, 2022   

An uneven pandemic recovery, along with inflation, is fueling concern about foreclosure activity.

In Minnesota, there is a push to ensure households of color do not suffer the same fate as they did after the 2008 housing crisis. Nonprofits providing housing assistance say the crisis had a devastating effect on Black neighborhoods in particular.

Catrice Williams, director of wealth development for the Urban League Twin Cities, said it was felt in such places as North Minneapolis and East St. Paul, and widened homeownership disparities in the region.

"Even though the homeownership gap was quite large then, it was not as large as it is today," Williams pointed out. "That, I believe, is a direct result of that foreclosure crisis."

The homeownership rate for Black Minnesotans is now about 50 percentage points lower than it is for white residents. To help at-risk neighborhoods, the Urban League, along with groups like the Minnesota Homeownership Center, provide free financial counseling and wealth-building tools. The League also is developing a land trust to help more Black residents afford homes amid higher costs.

Bill Gray, director of stakeholder relations for the Minnesota Homeownership Center, said promoting such efforts in affected areas will hopefully prevent foreclosure spikes. Looking back on 2008, he recalled the market pushed many BIPOC households into unconventional loans. And today, he pointed to the onset of the pandemic, and its ripple effects on income.

"During COVID, we saw a greater impact on BIPOC households because they were more likely to have those jobs that were lower wages and public facing," Gray noted. "And so, they were impacted by the dangers of COVID, more than other households."

Gray added dispelling myths about homeownership also can help close the growing gap in Minnesota, suggesting it is not entirely out of reach, as some might think.

"The fact is, if you're paying full market rent, you can probably afford a mortgage," Gray stated. "It's just qualifying for that mortgage."

Both organizations say their programs can help navigate qualification barriers, such as low credit scores. They agree doing this work can help to end generational wealth disparities in Minnesota, too.

Disclosure: The Minnesota Homeownership Center contributes to our fund for reporting on Civic Engagement, Housing/Homelessness, Livable Wages/Working Families, and Poverty Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
In a recent lawsuit, a federal judge found nearly 10 examples in which the State of South Dakota had made it difficult for Native Americans to register to vote. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

This election season, South Dakota is starting to implement voting-access reforms in light of a recent settlement with Native American tribes…


Social Issues

Between rising inflation and the ups and downs of the stock market, it isn't surprising that folks are concerned about their own financial situation…

Social Issues

The U.S. Postal Service is hiring 28,000 seasonal employees ahead of the surge in end-of-year holiday letters and packages for facilities in Michigan …


The average monthly Social Security benefit in August was $1,546. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

The roughly 2.4 million Ohioans who rely on Social Security income are expected to get a big boost in benefits, but advocates for the program are …

Social Issues

Democratic Gov. Janet Mills and her challenger, former Republican Gov. Paul LePage, both are courting votes from Maine's largest contingency -- …

Methane released into the atmosphere is responsible for at least 25% of current global warming, according to the Environmental Defense Fund. (permianmap.org)

Environment

Ahead of revised methane regulations expected from the federal government, a new study shows that gas flaring in oil-producing states such as Texas …

Health and Wellness

Even for people who think they're too busy to exercise, experts say there's one surefire way to squeeze in a modest workout: walking. Although often …

Social Issues

Wisconsin is one of 33 states allowing Social Security benefits to be extended to teachers. As the future of the program is debated, a retired …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021