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Racism in U.S. Home Ownership Spotlights Ethical Issues


Racial injustice has been prevalent in the United States forever. Even though we are now in the 21st century, racial tensions continue in this country. In fact, they have become prevalent in the past month, with the killings of black Americans George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery by police.

The deaths of these African-Americans have sparked protests across the country. The Black Lives Matter movement has spread across America and beyond.

Blacks are tired of being judged based solely on their skin color—something they are born with and something they cannot control or change. Many face racism on a regular basis in areas of education, employment and housing. Even COVID-19 appears to affect the black community more than other races.

A report from the U.S Census Bureau compiled homeownership data from the first quarter of 2020. It shows a rate of 73.7% for whites, with the rate for blacks much lower, at just 44%. The homeownership rate for Hispanics is not much better, at 48.9%. This is concerning, considering that there are civil rights laws banning housing discrimination. Real estate professionals are taught not to discriminate against home buyers or else they could face ethical issues, including license loss. It seems as though these laws are not working as intended.

This is a historic time right now. Not only are we battling coronavirus, but also racial inequity and injustice. The recent deaths of black people by police are putting a spotlight on racism in all areas of life, including housing. The mortgage and housing industry need to take note and respond appropriately.

Inherently, not only is there a housing gap but a wealth gap as well. There are huge discrepancies in income based on race. A black family at the poverty line has an average wealth of $0, while the average white family at the poverty line has $18,000 in wealth.

While the Fair Housing Act was created to eliminate racial inequity in the area of homeownership, it’s not working as well as expected. Discrimination is still widespread in many areas of the country, even though we are now in 2020.

When blacks do qualify for a home loan, predatory lending is often involved. The average mortgage rate is around 4%, but lenders may offer them rates much higher. Fees, typically around 1% of the home’s value, may exceed 5%.

Keep Your License With Help From a Tampa Real Estate Broker License Lawyer

There’s a huge gap in home ownership between whites and blacks. This is causing people of color to feel angry and insecure and real estate brokers should take note. While it’s OK to decline homeownership to someone who lacks money or credit, discrimination based on race is against the law and could lead to license loss.

Protect your real estate license with help from Tampa real estate broker license lawyer David P. Rankin. He was chosen to represent the Greater Tampa Realtors for over 16 years. He has participated in more than 200 DBPR/ Division of Real Estate investigations and represented many clients before the Florida Real Estate Commission. To schedule a consultation, fill out the online form or call (813) 968-6633.