Big racial gaps persist in home ownership rates

Big racial gaps persist in home ownership rates

• There are (unfortunately, and predictably), some disappointing numbers in this MarketWatch article about homeownership rates in U.S. cities for Black and white residents. From the piece: A new report from real-estate brokerage Redfin examined the national homeownership gap. Only 44% of Black families owned their homes as of the first quarter of 2020, compared with 73.7% of white households, Redfin found, based on an analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data. Washington, D.C., was the only city in the country where a majority of Black households were homeowners, with a homeownership rate of 51%. At the other end of the spectrum, only 25% of Black families in Minneapolis are homeowners, the lowest rate in the nation. In Cleveland, the homeownership rate for Black residents was 36%. It was 75% for white residents.

• A report from a Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland researcher is cited in this MarketWatch analysis of the impact the pandemic will have on the finances of state and local governments. The website notes that states, counties, cities and towns “are on the hook for most of the costs associated with the pandemic — health care, emergency responses, and so on — even as their tax revenues, mostly from income and sales taxes, dwindle. Even revenue streams often seen as safe, like usage fees for things like airports, toll roads, arena ticket charges, and so on, have swooned in line with economic activity.” Stephan D. Whitaker, a policy economist at the Cleveland Fed, this week released an analysis of “just how bad the budget situation is for state and local governments,” MarketWatch says. “Whitaker reckons that they’ve lost $141 billion in revenue from all sources in fiscal year 2020 — that is, through June 30.” He estimates that states and locals will have to cut expenditures by anywhere from $59 billion to $350 billion in the coming fiscal year. Why such a wide range? “Some state and local governments built up budget cushions during the expansion, Whitaker notes,” according to MarketWatch. “But those funds vary widely, and most so-called ‘rainy day funds’ aren’t equipped to handle the 100-year-storm that hit in 2020.”

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