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Minority Households Face Greater Threat of ‘Housing Insecurity’

Housing Inventory

A report by Zillow shows that minority homeowners have been adversely affected by the impacts of COVID-19. 

The report states that of 22 million Americans who have filed unemployment insurance claims over the past month, 12.7% of those who lost jobs were Latin, 10.2% were Asian, and 10.1% were African-American. 

Additionally, non-white household faces a greater renter burden and have less left over for other expenses once they pay their rent or mortgage. 

White households in the industries hit hardest by coronavirus spent 25.1% of their income on rent, black households spend 28.3% on rent, Latin households are at 30%, and Asian households are just over at 30.6%. 

"This analysis highlights the financial tightrope many households walk in our vital service industries," said Skylar Olsen, Senior Principal Economist at Zillow. "While it's encouraging that many who receive government assistance appear to be on solid footing for a few months, it's important to remember that some workers will see labor disruptions, such as a loss of hours, that don't qualify them for these unemployment benefits that are so crucial right now. And if the pandemic were to last beyond the summer, it could have lasting impacts that push many more into housing insecurity." 

Zillow added lower-income households could face housing insecurity if workers go without income for two months. The report said only white households would stay within the affordability guideline at 29.4%. Black households would jump to 33.2% of income spent on rent, Latin households to 34.8%, and Asian households to 35.7%. 

If a worker were to go four months without pay, that would rise to 35.3% for white households and at least 40% for non-white households. 

Black Knight reported that 3.4 million homeowners or 6.4% of all mortgages in the U.S. have entered into a COVID-19 forbearance plan. 

This population represents $754 billion in unpaid principal and includes 5.6% of all GSE-backed loans and 8.9% of all FHA/VA loans.

This is an increase from Black Knights April 16 data, when more than 2.9 million homeowners, or 5.5% of all mortgages, have entered into COVID-19 mortgage forbearance plans.

About Author: Mike Albanese

A graduate of the University of Alabama, Mike Albanese has worked for news publications since 2011 in Texas and Colorado. He has built a portfolio of more than 1,000 articles, covering city government, police and crime, business, sports, and is experienced in crafting engaging features and enterprise pieces. He spent time as the sports editor for the "Pilot Point Post-Signal," and has covered the DFW Metroplex for several years. He has also assisted with sports coverage and editing duties with the "Dallas Morning News" and "Denton Record-Chronicle" over the past several years.
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