Black People Only Received 4% Of Mortgage Loans Distributed By Milwaukee Banks
In the Milwaukee Metropolitan Statistical Area, whites represent 70 percent of the population, and received 81 percent of all mortgage lending, according to a recent study. Meanwhile, African-Americans represent 16 percent of the population — but only 4 percent of the loans.
The July 2016 study by the National Community Reinvestment Coalition overlaid census data and bank-reported mortgage data. It found that while median income was the first predictor for whether a home loan would be made, race was the second.
The whiter a neighborhood, the more loans it got. And vice versa.
“For areas with higher percentage of whites, race became an important factor in our analysis, showing landscapes of divestment,” said NCRC researcher Bruce Mitchell.
Whites have historically benefited from government-backed programs like the Federal Housing Administration and the GI Bill. Though open to all, the GI bill was administered locally and for instance in New York and New Jersey out of 67,000 mortgages only 100 went to non-whites. While both programs brought down the cost of home ownership, blacks were steered away from white neighborhoods, shunted into rentals and the arms of predatory lenders, said University of Iowa history professor Colin Gordon, who has studied segregation in St. Louis, Missouri.
Despite being as qualified as — or better qualified than — their fellow white mystery shoppers, blacks and Latinos were consistently shown fewer properties, an average of five properties per test versus eight. They were made to go through more hurdles, like more frequently being required to provide a loan pre-approval letter, and not informed about programs that would have made it easier to purchase a home, such as lower closing costs or mortgage rates available through an affiliates.