EconomyLatestRacial Disparities in Minnesota Homeownership Continues to Escalate

The gap between white and Black homeowners in Minnesota is at large, with the Twin Cities (Minneapolis and Saint Paul), Minnesota’s most diverse cities, taking the top of the list for racial disparities in homeownership in the US. According to MPR News, within the Twin Cities, Saint Paul’s Black homeownership rate only reflects 17 percent, with Minneapolis ranking only slightly higher at 19.8 percent. This is the lowest its been within the last decade, decreasing almost 4 percent in Black homeownership rates just over the last 5 years in Minnesota. The rate of Black homeowners was at its highest in the 1950s at nearly 50 percent; since, hitting a consistent decline. Why? Well, Black people in these areas were often faced with redlining tactics of discrimination at the first step, which is seeking a loan.

Example of the racial covenant verbiage found in many property deeds in the Twin Cities in the early 20th century.

In the Minneapolis metro area, 77% of white residents own homes, compared with 25% of Black residents—a 52-percentage-point difference, larger than in any other major U.S. city, according to an analysis of census and survey data by the Minnesota State Demographic Center, a state agency. –

In order to receive a mortgage your finances and credit are taken into account to determine your credibility, and hence, your loan amount. But even with proper qualifications, Minnesota banks have a history of denying loans to Black people residing in “redlined” areas. KleinBank, the Minnesota bank that recently reached a settlement with the Department of Justice for its history of discriminating against Black customers, is a prime example. Apparently all parties within the settlement agreed on dismissing the lawsuit against KleinBank, despite complaints of violating the Fair Housing Act and Equal Credit Opportunity Act, which prohibits financial institutions from discriminating on thr basis of race and national origin in their mortgage lending services. 

The lawsuit alleged that, from 2010 to at least 2015, KleinBank engaged in unlawful redlining in the Twin Cities area by intentionally avoiding providing lending services to residents of predominantly minority neighborhoods because of the race or national origin of the people living in those neighborhoods.  – Justice.gov

The lawsuit against KleinBank was filed in 2017 before being dismissed, despite redlining in Minnesota dating back to before the 1930s…  But even the Black homeowners that were, and are, fortunate enough to see the process through–faced discrimination by their neighbors if they happened to buy a home in a predominantly white area. For Minnesota, the predominantly white areas are typically the “nicer” areas where the Twin Cities’ minority neighborhoods’ market value is much lower and actually hosts the predominant of Black homeowners in the Twin Cities. 

When Edith and Arthur Lee moved into a home at 46th & Columbus in South Minneapolis in 1931, they were greeted with a mob of over 4,000 people who yelled and threw rocks at their home, and even killed their dog. The hostilities went on for three days. The Lees bravely fought for their right to make that house their home for two years, but eventually moved to another neighborhood. In 2014, the Lee’s home was added to the National Register of Historic Places, and the historical marker placed on the home’s lawn bears witness to the dark history made there 100 years ago. Today, the same neighborhood is sprinkled with All Are Welcome Here signs, but the historical marker is a stark reminder that this wasn’t always the case. – MNRealtor.com

MNR News

Back in the 1950s Saint Paul’s historic neighborhood of Rondo was a bustling Black neighborhood that was doing great economically, and homeownership rates were high. Until, the city placed the 94-highway through it and tore down homeowners’ homes with little to no compensation and short notice. That community and the economy within that community suffered greatly, and Black homeowner rates dropped, pushing the people that lived in that neighborhood out. 

Since the pandemic, the racial disparities within homeownership in the Twin Cities continues to widen as inflation persists and wage disparities widen. Minnesota also ranks towards the bottom for racial disparities within income as well, directly affecting connecting to the gap between white and Black homeownership.

The median black family in the Twin Cities area earns $38,178 a year — which is less than half of the median white family income of $84,459 a year. This income inequality gap is one of the largest in the nation; only nearby Milwaukee, Wisconsin is worse. The state of Minnesota as a whole has the second biggest income inequality gap between blacks and whites in the entire nation; only the District of Columbia is worse. – npr.org

 

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