A new report from the Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana says homeownership in Marion County has declined 11% over the past decade. The nonprofit adds while mortgage applications are at their highest levels since the Great Recession, the county continues to see “dramatic lending disparities,” particularly due to race and ethnicity.
In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, FHCCI Executive Director Amy Nelson talked about some of the key takeaways from the report.
“Unfortunately, homeownership rates are still significantly below where they should be or as compared to state and federal numbers, and we here in Marion County also have a significant disparity among racial and ethnic groups,” said Nelson. “Looking long-term, since 1970, whites in Marion County are basically about where they were in 1970 for homeownership rates, have not had massive gains. But when we look at Blacks, Hispanics and Asians, we’ve actually lost homeowners since 1970.”
The State of Fair Housing in Indiana Report – Mortgage Lending in Marion County 2018-2020 shows Marion County’s homeownership rate is 54%, compared to 69% statewide and 64% nationally.
Additionally, the homeownership rate stands at 65% for whites, but 34% for Blacks, 39% for Hispanics and 46% for Asians.
Nelson says the report also looked at the number of bank branch closings from 2011 to 2021. The county’s bank branch closure rate for the decade was -29%, nearly twice the national rate.
“There are a number of studies that have shown that people still use brick-and-mortar-type banks for their banking services and they want to see that that bank is working in their neighborhood,” she said. “A trust level is going to develop if that bank is in their neighborhood”
The study shows a disparity in the number of loan applications that were denied between white applicants and those of other ethnicities. The top 50 lenders in the county, according to the report, received more than 93,000 applications were the applicant’s race was identified.
The report shows 73% of the applicants were white, while 15% were Black and 5.3% were Hispanic. However, of the 13,000 applications that were denied, 22.1% came from Black applicants, 21.2% came from Hispanic applicants, while only 12.2% were from white applicants.
You can connect to the full report by clicking here.