Attorney General Discrimination A Major Problem For Homeowners In New York
Many people in the United States spend a lifetime chasing what has historically been seen as the American dream, that is, owning a home.
In New York, owning a home can be pretty tricky. With the high costs of living coupled with inflation that we've seen in the last few years, buying a house is a hard thing to accomplish these days.
While it's tough, it's not insurmountable. However, according to a new report released by the New York State Attorney General Letitia James, the journey to buying and owning a home in the Empire State is even more difficult for certain people.
Owning a home is an essential part of achieving the American dream and building wealth to pass on to future generations... Unfortunately, unequal access to affordable credit is still pervasive across our state, reinforcing the legacy of segregation, leading to a disparity in homeownership, and fueling the racial wealth gap. This report makes it clear that our state must do more to provide better resources for homebuyers and strengthen housing laws to help empower more New Yorkers. My office remains committed to fighting housing discrimination in all forms, and I look forward to working with my partners in government to address this problem.
-Letitia James, New York State Attorney General
In the research released by the Office of the Attorney General, they found that New York's deep legacy of racism, redlining, and exclusion has harmed neighborhoods of color and that people of color have much lower rates of homeownership in New York.
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The data shows that white households own homes at a rate nearly double that of blacks and racial minorities across the state. That contrast goes back to generations of discriminatory practices that have been in place in New York, and current policies are not doing enough to help close the gap.
The report offers several suggestions for policy changes and other things we can do to help close this gap; some of those suggestions are:
- Making it easier for first-generation homebuyers to purchase homes by subsidizing down payments and mortgage interest rates,
- Giving more financial support to nonprofit financial institutions that support communities of color that traditional banks have historically underserved,
- Making state-provided banking services available in libraries, post offices, and other community locations in neighborhoods that banks have abandoned and ignored.
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Gallery Credit: Ed Nice
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