Mar 11, 2024 - News

Racial gap in Tennessee homeownership persists

Illustration of a welcome mat with the inequality symbol on it.

Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

The gap between Black and white homeowners in Tennessee has grown over the past decade, Axios' Brianna Crane reports from Zillow data.

Why it matters: Homeownership remains the biggest driver of the wealth gap, per the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

  • Decades ago, discriminatory practices such as redlining exacerbated homeownership inequities that are still evident today.

By the numbers: About 44% of Black Tennesseans own homes, a decrease of 1.3% since 2012. More than 73% of white residents own homes, an increase of nearly 1% in the same timeframe.

Zoom in: The Nashville-specific numbers are similar: 71.5% of white residents own homes, compared to about 44% of Black residents.

What's more: A racial disparity is also seen in property appraisals. The typical value of Nashville-area homes with Black owners is 14.4% less than homes with white owners.

  • Statewide, the value gap is even larger, at nearly 21%.
Difference in the typical value of homes owned by Black and white people, by metro area
Data: Zillow; Map: Erin Davis/Axios Visuals

The big picture: Nationally, the typical value of U.S. homes with Black owners ($291,000) is 18% less than the typical value of homes with white owners ($354,000).

What they're saying: Black owners seeing their homes appraising for less than those of their white counterparts isn't new.

  • The appraiser workforce is majority white, and it's often difficult to report appraisal discrimination, though new policies are aimed at addressing both of those hurdles.
  • "It's no longer a myth or legend that this happens," HUD chief of staff Julienne Joseph tells Axios.
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