Prince George’s County Stuck in Housing Mess

The Maryland county whose income is double the national average for Black families has the highest foreclosure rate in the state.

Posted: 06/14/2011 09:34 AM EDT
Filed Under foreclosure

Looks like some of the Jones can’t keep up with themselves in Prince George’s County, Maryland. Over the years the majority African-American county has been named one of the most affluent, but now the same county has the worst foreclosure rate in the state of Maryland.

The foreclosure sales are now 51 percent, a rise from the 2009 rate of 34 percent, and the county accounts for 25 percent of the state’s foreclosures.

“While a lot of gains were made in home ownership, more so in the last three to five years, the foreclosure crisis really hit the minority community the hardest,” Carol Gilbert, assistant secretary for neighborhood revitalization in Maryland’s Housing and Community Development Department, told MSNBC. “That’s a very big step backwards for building equity and wealth over time.”

But foreclosure sales aren’t the only problem in the area. Recently the county imposed a hiring freeze on all workers except new public safety workers and cut $14 million from the school budget, and homicides have raised concern about the crime in the county.

According to Gilbert, "It will get worse before it gets better, especially for Prince George’s County.”

(Photo: Carlos Barria/Reuters)

From Our Partners