Racial disparities In suburban housing market still exist
Martha Goble, interim director of the Heights Community Congress (HCC), said the organization released a new study, Racial Disparities in the Cleveland Suburban Home Sales Market, 2008–2013, at the Ohio Fair Lending Conference at Trinity Commons on Nov. 1.
Ralph Day, who prepared the study and presented its findings at the conference, said that the study draws on data compiled from real estate audits conducted by HCC from 2008 to 2013, and compares the results to those of the St. Ann Audit conducted in 1972 in the eastern suburbs of Cleveland. The St. Ann Audit established that “steering” and other forms of differential treatment guided black home seekers into integrated neighborhoods, and white home seekers away from those neighborhoods.
Both Goble and Day agree, that despite progress over the past 40 years in the Cleveland suburban housing market, the HCC audits reveal that discrimination against black homebuyers still persists. In addition to the comprehensive study, HCC offers several recommendations to assist communities, real estate agents and prospective homebuyers. The recommendations offer specific positive actions that can accomplish the goal of the Federal Fair Housing Act in Cleveland. Equal treatment requires planning and preparation so that a level of service, and the amount of information given, is delivered uniformly to all.
Goble said that HCC will continue to actively monitor home sales in the local communities as mandated by the Fair Housing Act, and she suggested that regularly scheduled diversity programming offered by HCC can assist both real estate agents and homebuyers.
For more information, contact HCC at 216-321-6775.
Sue Nigro is a member of the Heights Community Congress Board of Directors.