Access denied updating a dream

Why do so many Blacks and Latinos continue to suffer disproportionate denials for mortgage loans?A recent analysis of the 2015 Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) data by the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL) sheds further light on the fact that even years after a national recovery from the housing collapse, the American Dream remains elusive for much of Black America.A Dream Denied expands our understanding of the complicated process of desistance and how it is shaped by inequality."—Andrea Leverentz, Professor of Sociology, University of Massachusetts Boston and author of The Ex-Prisoner’s Dilemma: How Women Negotiate Competing Narratives of Reentry and Desistance "Too often research on troubled African American and Latino youth takes the perspective that they are incorrigible, unapologetic for their actions, or unaware of alternative ways of living.In A Dream Denied, Michela Soyer dispels this narrow vision by exploring the complex views about opportunity and desire for inner-city teenagers in the juvenile justice system.The vast majority of loans to Black consumers in 2015 continued a trend that has grown stronger year to year since the housing meltdown: government-backed loans like FHA or VA account for the overwhelming majority of loans made to Black consumers – 120,618, more than double that for conventional loans.Latino consumers received more with 162,317 loans, but far less compared to 765,880 for Whites.

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Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise.In 2015 the average credit score for all new loan originations neared 750, a near 50-point increase from the average used in 2001.Historically, federal housing policies also gave advantages to Whites that were not available to Blacks.“Although the nation’s banks have largely recovered from the financial crisis,” continued CRL, “the 2015 HMDA data illustrate that they are not using their rebuilt capital to create homeownership opportunities, particularly not for borrowers of color and low-income families.” “Before the Great Recession,” added Rothstein, “half of all African-Americans owned their own homes. Before the Great Recession, the net worth of African-American homeowners averaged 4,000. This was not a natural calamity that befell the Black middle class but one precipitated in part by unlawful banking and governmental practices.” When it comes to homeownership, the facts are clear.The real question for Black America is, ‘what do we intend to do about it?

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