Black homebuyers face huge gap in homeownership rate

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Johnson C. Smith senior Niya Phillips had hoped owning a new home would be part of her post-graduation plans, but she wasn’t able to get a loan for the amount she wanted. The bank told her it was because of her future college loan debt.

[SPECIAL SECTION: TALKING ABOUT RACE]

According to the National Association of Realtors, Black households are more than twice as likely to have student loan debt than white households. In addition, Black homebuyers are 2 1/2 times more likely to be rejected for mortgage loans than their white counterparts.

Further data shows that nationwide and in the Charlotte area, the value of homes of Black families is less, and the number of Black homeowners is far fewer than white homeowners.

[Minorities vastly underrepresented when it comes to having bank accounts, studies show]

Michael Neal with the Urban Institute said these issues go back to the founding of America, in terms of who was excluded from property ownership. He said the gap is a direct result of policies that undervalued homes in Black communities and made it difficult for people there to move out.

>> In the video at the top of this page, Channel 9 reporter Ken Lemon talks to a Charlotte realtor and lending agent to discuss the disparities that exist for minority families.

(WATCH: Group gives Black people safe space to talk about race)