I am reading Paul Sperry’s new book (The Great American Bank Robbery) on the housing crisis.
Blacks and Hispanics have lost much of the housing gains they made during the Clinton and Bush administration campaigns to boost minority homeownership, new census numbers show.
As a result, the “mortgage gap” between minorities and whites is almost as wide as it was two decades ago, when Washington launched a crusade to close it.
The black homeownership rate plunged in 2010 to a 13-year low of 45% from a housing bubble peak of 49%. The share of Latinos owning a home fell to 48% from a high of 50%. While also down, the rate for whites stood at 74%. Analysts expect rates to keep falling in 2011 and beyond.
“We’re definitely heading back down to the bottom, especially when you look at minorities,” said Melissa Kresin, a Census Bureau researcher. With home foreclosures and vacancies up again this year, “it’s not looking great.”
Sadly, affordable-housing policies have backfired on the groups they were designed to help.
In 1995, President Clinton unveiled his National Homeown ership Strategy to push black homeownership above 50%. After he pressured banks and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to ease lending rules for low-income minorities, black ownership rates shot up to record levels.
The media at the time attributed the growth to the “first real enforcement of the Community Reinvestment Act,” an anti-discrimination law regulating mortgage lending. “Our homeownership strategy will not cost the taxpayers one extra cent,” Clinton promised during a White House ceremony attended by Acorn officials.