WBEZ: Black Homeownership - The Promise and The Pitfalls
|Via The Chicago Neighborhoods|
But Chatham was no urban Mayberry. When I was in high school, the “Chatham rapist” stalked the neighborhood. On more than one occasion, thieves broke into our garage.Another example of this black tax:
“There was crime in the neighborhood, although it was a very nice neighborhood,” my mom said. “But you would hear about robberies in the area, so that was a downfall, I think.”
This is part of what’s called the black tax. Black middle-class neighborhoods are more affected by urban ills than white middle-class neighborhoods; you have to deal with more poverty, more crime, worse schools and fewer services.
My dad said he saw the black tax even when he shopped at a Jewel grocery in the neighborhood.Basically the article discusses Black homeownership in mostly Black areas vs. integrated areas. Reporter Natalie Moore discusses choosing to own a condo in Bronzeville - an area we hear had been on the upswing - vs. renting in more intergrated Hyde Park.
“When I wanted to pay for the groceries by check, I had to almost get my birth certificate for ID,” he recalled.
But then he went to a Jewel in neighboring Evergreen Park, where he didn’t have to show any ID. He also noticed the prices were lower. When he asked why the prices were higher at the Chatham store, he was told the store had to pay for security.
“There is a shortcoming of living in an all-black neighborhood, even one as affluent as Chatham,” he said.
Her own parents ultimately left Chatham and moved further southwest to Beverly:
My parents made a good decision, but they also got lucky. They bought the Chatham home in 1974 for $30,000 and sold it almost 20 years later for more than four times that amount. By 2010, Chatham was going through rocky times. U.S. Census Bureau figures show population loss, decreased median income and plummeting home values.Why should ethnicity in a neighborhood make a difference as far as equity?
There was also the housing collapse. Black homeowners were set up, by certain lending practices, to take a harder hit than whites. Subprime loans were targeted at black homeowners, and those loans were concentrated in black neighborhoods, like Chatham.
My parents left before the collapse, and the devastation of the housing crash didn’t hit their new neighborhood like it did in Chatham. Their new home -- a four-bedroom, mid-century modern split level -- is located in a housing market with stable home values.
My parents told me their decision to move into an integrated neighborhood -- Beverly is 62 percent white and 34 percent black -- has paid off. Blacks have far less equity in their homes. That changes if you live in an integrated or white neighborhood.