The Black community has always faced a unique set of housing-related concerns and the National Association of Real Estate Brokers, Inc. (NAREB) is hosting a State of Housing in Black America Issues Forum (SHIBA) in Atlanta, Georgia, this weekend to help the Black community get a handle on the issue.
"There are a lot of things that have occurred in the Black community relating to the housing crisis that many people simply are not aware of," said NAREB President Julius Cartwright. "That's why we are anxious to share all of our research data, and have a productive dialogue with the public, so that people will understand the ongoing impact of the mortgage fall-out in Atlanta and in other communities across the nation. Our ultimate goal is to offer solutions that will empower people to make informed decisions that will preserve and protect the legacy of our neighborhoods and community."
The NAREB’s concerns are backed by cold, hard facts. According to U.S. Census Bureau data, in 2010, national homeownership among African-Americans hovered at only 45 percent, compared to a white homeownership rate of 71 percent. Furthermore, the Center for Responsible Lending estimates that among recent homebuyers, nearly 8% of African-Americans have lost their homes to foreclosures, compared to 4.5% of whites. In Atlanta, specifically, a city that is 54 percent Black, one area measuring just 1.7 miles has a startling foreclosure rate of 40 percent.
In addition to interactive discussions and town hall-style meetings with industry professionals, as well as local and national political and community leaders, the event will feature an address by Rev. Dr. Otis Moss, Jr., Pastor Emeritus of the historic Olivet Institutional Baptist Church in Cleveland, Ohio, who will offer an historical perspective on the mortgage crisis in minority communities.
The State of Housing in Black America Issues Forum will take place in Atlanta on Saturday, Nov. 19, 8 a.m.-2:30 p.m. at the Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel, on the campus of Morehouse College in Southwest Atlanta. The event is free and open to the public.
(Photo: AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)