The majority of Americans obtain wealth through homeownership. During the housing and foreclosure crisis, African-Americans lost 53 percent of all Black wealth as a result, and now the future of minority home ownership seems bleak as more and minorities are becoming renters instead of buyers.
The Wall Street Journal recently reported:
Last decade’s housing crisis could give way to a new one in which many families lack the incomes or savings needed to buy homes, creating a surge of renters and a shortage of affordable housing.
This will have a major impact on wealth building in minority communities where Blacks and Hispanics are being forced into renting as opposed to having the option of becoming an owner of a property.
On Thursday, Marcia Griffin, Founder and President of HomeFree-USA, joined Roland Martin on NewsOne Now to discuss the new housing crisis and what can be done to stave off economic disaster in our communities.
Martin began his discussion with Griffin saying, “… because of lending practices, because of lack of income, because of all of these factors, we literally are forcing largely Black and Latinos into the area of renting.”
The increase in the number of renters then drives up the price of apartments and homes, decimating the affordable housing market. To compound this, new construction is primarily focused on the “luxury high-end” market.
Martin said as a result, “Some folks will be paying more for rent than they would be paying for a mortgage.”
Despite the gloomy outlook on housing, Griffin is optimistic saying, “there is hope.”
“What we have to get our homeowners to do is really focus on some key issues that are really holding us down right now. It’s very difficult to get a mortgage, but some people are. We have to really focus on our credit, we have to get a little bit of money saved,” said Griffin.
The organization that she heads, HomeFree-USA, is a leading HUD-approved homeownership development, foreclosure intervention, and financial empowerment organization. According to HomeFree-USA.org, their goal is to strengthen the financial position and enrich the lives of every day people through homeownership.
Griffin explained, “The market is designed for renters — to push African-Americans, Latinos into renting. A lot of the Wall Street guys have come here, they’ve bought properties all over the country and they’re renting” those properties and raking in huge profits for themselves.
Martin expounded on Griffin’s point, saying the banks who were bailed out by American tax-payers have partnered with hedge fund managers and “they are literally going into cities and buying up lots — 25, 50 thousand homes and essentially these hedge funds are becoming landlords.”
Watch Roland Martin, Marcia Griffin, and the NewsOne Now Straight Talk Panel discuss the upcoming affordable housing crisis in the video clip above.
For more information about Marcia Griffin and HomeFree-USA, visit www.HomeFreeUSA.org.
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