February 17, 2020

New Housing Report Sheds Light On Disparity

Analysis by the Indiana University Center for Research on Inclusion and Social Policy found that the median home value in majority black neighborhoods is $41,000 less than the average in Marion County. - FILE PHOTO: Brian Paul/WFYI

Analysis by the Indiana University Center for Research on Inclusion and Social Policy found that the median home value in majority black neighborhoods is $41,000 less than the average in Marion County.

FILE PHOTO: Brian Paul/WFYI

Housing disparity influenced by race is apparent in cities across the Midwest and a new analysis focuses on what this inequality looks like in Marion County.

White Indianapolis residents are more likely than black residents to be home-owners, and the value of homes in majority black neighborhoods are considerably lower.  The median home value in these neighborhoods is $41,000 less than the county average.

Breanca Merritt founded the Indiana University Center for Research on Inclusion and Social Policy. She led the research and says, despite discrimination laws, racial residential segregation persists.

"Fair housing policies don’t always translate into what a lender does when faced with a black resident looking to buy a home," says Merritt. 

Zoning restrictions and predatory lending practices also influence housing disparity. Predominantly black neighborhoods in Marion County are also under-resourced. Nearly half of the county’s black residents live in those communities.

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