Racial/Ethnic differences in housing outcomes for first-time, low-income home buyers: Findings from a national homeownership education program
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Federal housing policies aimed at making homeownership more accessible through education and affordable lending have been successful in raising the homeownership rate among minorities. By marketing homeownership to underserved populations and helping them overcome financial and informational obstacles, such programs might be expected to promote equality in housing outcomes, including housing quality, neighborhood composition, and neighborhood conditions, for minority homeowners. This article examines the experience of participants in a national homeownership education program. While the transition to homeownership has been associated with modest progress, it does not overcome persistent disparities in housing quality. Homeownership appears to lead to poorer neighborhood conditions for all lower-income buyers - not just minorities - and may be exacerbating social and spatial isolation rather than helping to overcome it. Differences in neighborhood outcomes, however, may be due to locational preference rather than discrimination in housing and mortgage markets. 2007 Metropolitan Institute at Virginia Tech. All Rights Reserved.
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