Homeownership disparities a Minnesota blight

Minnesota has ranked among the worst states in terms of racial disparities in homeownership. The Minnesota Housing Finance Agency (MHFA) has made it a priority to mitigate those inequities and close the gap.

“Minnesota’s homeownership disparities between White households and Households of Color has been persistent and continues to be one of the worst in the nation,” stated Kasey Kier, the assistant commissioner at MHFA. “Currently, I believe that we are the fourth-worst in the nation.”

The 2020 State of Housing in Black America report, commissioned by the National Association of Real Estate Brokers, revealed that in 2019, 73.4% of White households owned their own home. In contrast, the report stated that only 42.1% of Black households owned their homes. In 2020 the national gap between Black and White homeownership was 26%.

In Minnesota according to 2019 American Community Survey (ACS) data, White/non-Latinx individuals own homes at a rate of 76.9% compared to Blacks who own at a rate of 25.3%, a  homeownership gap of more than 50%.

“When we look at Minnesota having one of the highest homeownership rates in the nation but one of the largest homeownership disparity gaps, we need to think about how to tackle it,” Kier said. “The industry itself is not doing a good job of getting there and closing that gap, so Minnesota Housing is really stepping in.”

“In Minnesota the mortgage industry is serving the BIPOC communities at about 15%,” said Kier. “Minnesota Housing is serving the BIPOC communities at about 35%, so more than the industry average.”

Alexis Bolton (center) poses for a picture with her daughter (left) and employees of MN Housing Finance after signing closing documents on her house.

Black community that same account profile would go to a loan and they would be denied,” said Akinola. “There’s a disparity in the approval between our White communities and our Black communities, so at Minnesota Housing we find that it’s very important that we bridge that gap.”

MHFA partners with lending partners, real estate agents and associations like the National Association of Real Estate Brokers, the Asian Real Estate Association, the Association for Gay and Lesbian Professionals to enhance their community engagement and reach as many marginalized groups as possible.

“It’s such a blessing to have programs like this,” said Bolton.


CREDITS: Amudalat Ajasa / Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder