Multicultural News

Data: Home lending inequities still impact Black communities in Indianapolis

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Home ownership often proves a bit hard to reach for many people in predominately Black neighborhoods.

That may not come as a shock but new research has now put data to that.

Experts said discriminatory lending practices stretch back decades. Redlining is one of the most obvious forms.

While there’s been some improvement over the years, the progress has been slow. Attaining home ownership may not just be beneficial for the person, but hold even wider economic benefits.

Home ownership is starting to feel like an unattainable dream for Anthony Knighten. He’s been renting his home near Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and 30th streets for five years. He’ll likely rent a bit longer.

“It was so hard. They were talking about, well, we have to check your credit history for 20 years and then they have to check your criminal history,” said Knighten when referencing his experience trying to get a home loan.

He said it’s the same story every time he tries. The offers he has gotten aren’t enough to truly buy or even make a home.

“They say, well, by your credit they might give you $15,000 or $20,000. I’m trying to get a house. I’m not trying to get a paper bag.” he said.

Research from the Indiana University Public Policy Institute said this is a common story for Black Hoosiers in Marion County. Evaluating data from the 2018 Home Mortgage Disclosure Act, researchers found that 42% of Black people own their homes in predominately Black neighborhoods. The number for all races, countywide: a little more than 50%.

The research also shows that 11% of home loan applications in majority Black communities are denied compared to 3% in nonmajority Black communities.

“Owning a home is one of the crucial parts of building equity,” said policy analyst Joti Martin.

Researchers said the data isn’t surprising, and it’s important to understand the financial security of homeownership. The equity it builds can lasts generations.

“So again we saw this was happening. In order for those families, those minority families to get out of that cycle of poverty, this is crucial,” Martin said.

Researchers say lending companies can do more in connecting people to support programs. The Indiana Housing and Community development authority helps Hoosier with low-interest loans, tax credits and down-payment assistance.