One in seven African Americans and one in eight Latinos living in the 25 largest cities across the nation spent at least half their incomes on housing during the 1990s, according to research released by the Fannie Mae Foundation.

The research examines changes between 1990 and 2000 in homeownership rates and severe owner cost burdens – defined as spending at least half one’s income on housing – among African Americans and Latinos living in the nation’s largest cities. The research compares trends for urban minorities with changes for urban whites and national trends.

The combined figures for the cities examined indicate that while the number of black homeowners expanded by 16 percent between 1990 and 2000, the ranks of black homeowners paying at least half their incomes for housing grew by 39 percent. Similarly, a 54 percent gain in the number of Latino homeowners was overshadowed by a 98 percent jump in Latino owners with severe affordability problems.

Some of the other findings include:

  • One in five black and Latino homeowners in the city of Los Angeles paid half or more of their incomes for housing in 2000. Among the nation’s 25 largest cities, only New York City’s minority homeowners experienced comparable rates of severe affordability problems.

  • In Washington, D.C., the number of severely cost-burdened black homeowners increased by more than 50 percent between 1990 and 2000. The percentage increase in the likelihood of black homeowners in the nation’s capital experiencing a severe cost burden ranked fourth among the nation’s largest cities, exceeded only by New York, Los Angeles, and Seattle.

  • Philadelphia added more than 7,000 Latino homeowners during the 1990s, an increase of 60 percent. But the number of Latino homeowners with severe cost burdens increased by 167 percent. As of 2000, 19 percent of the city’s Latino homeowners spent at least half their incomes on housing. Only Los Angeles and New York City had higher rates of affordability problems among Latino owners.

  • In Baltimore, rapid growth in severe affordability problems accompanied a substantial increase in black home ownership. Black homeowners with severe cost burdens increased by 75 percent during the last decade, more than three times the pace of overall black home ownership growth.

  • In Memphis, black home ownership grew by 40 percent during the last decade. The city also registered a 71 percent increase in the number of black homeowners paying at least half their incomes for housing. Between 1990 and 2000, the number of black  homeowners with severe affordability problems increased by 4,000 in Memphis.

  • Charlotte’s 66 percent increase in black homeowners far outpaced black home ownership growth in any other large American city. However, black homeowners paying at least half of their incomes for housing grew by a much faster rate of 140 percent.

  • Between 1990 and 2000, San Diego added 27,000 homeowners. Latino homeowners accounted for more than one quarter of this number. But the number of Latino owners paying at least half of their incomes for housing doubled during the decade.


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