The wealth gap between white and black Americans is widening: Black families now have 10 times less wealth than whites. Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) thinks he knows why, and he is trying to do something about it.
In spite of all of the strides people of color have made over the past 50 years in America, there has not been much real progress on many fronts in minority communities because the underlying issues of racial inequality have not been adequately addressed. It remains harder for minorities to get the credit they need in everyday life, for example, which makes it harder for them to make big purchases, like buying a home, which could help them build and pass on wealth.
Since the 2008 economic downturn, many Americans have had an easier time accessing credit. Restrictions have eased, and that has allowed millions to buy homes and start businesses. The recovery has worked well for Americans generally — except minorities.
Right now, minorities find it harder and harder to gain access to credit, especially when it comes to mortgages. The homeownership rate among minorities is on the decline: Homeownership among white Americans is more than 30 percentage points higher than among black Americans, according to Trulia.
In addition, a new study found that African-Americans and Latinos were far more likely to be denied conventional mortgages than whites, even when income, loan size and other factors were taken into account.
Black applicants were disproportionately turned away, as compared to whites, in 48 metropolitan areas. Latinos were turned away more often in 25 areas, Asian-Americans in nine and Native Americans in three. In Washington, D.C., the study found that all four groups were far more likely to be denied home loans than whites were.