Black applicants in eight metro areas in the Carolinas are more likely to be denied home loans than white applicants with similar financial profiles, according to a new investigation on racial disparities in the lending industry.
The findings mirror disparities seen throughout much of the U.S. — and challenge the industry’s longtime explanation that higher denial rates are attributed to differences in financial characteristics, not race.
The data came as no surprise to Floyd Davis. Those disparities have roots in earlier discriminatory laws.
Among them: redlining policies that denied access to loans for Black and other minority residents to reinforce housing segregation; the federal urban renewal program that bulldozed Black neighborhoods and displaced its residents, and Black veterans’ exclusion from G.I. Bill benefits such as low-interest mortgages.
Persisting disparities in loan denial rates only further those historical wrongs, said Davis, whose organization works with people who are homeless to find rental housing and work toward homeownership.
“That’s still part of the structural system that was built and they’re still at play today,” he said.
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