New analysis from the Center for Research on Inclusion and Social Policy sheds light on black homeownership and home values in Marion County’s predominately black neighborhoods. Homes in these areas are undervalued when compared to homes in neighborhoods with few or no black residents.
About 23% of neighborhoods in Marion County are predominately black. According to the latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the median home value in those neighborhoods is $87,821—that’s $41,000 less than the county’s overall median home value of $129,200. This value gap grows to $52,000 when compared to homes in local neighborhoods that are not predominately black, where the median home value is $139,849.
Other data analysis revealed:
- More than 88% of Marion County’s majority-black neighborhoods have median home values lower than the county median.
- About 42% of the county’s majority-black neighborhoods have median home values of less than $75,000.
- Marion County’s white homeownership rate (64%) is higher than its overall rate (54%) and its black homeownership rate (34%).
Since nearly half (48%) of the county’s black population lives in majority-black neighborhoods, there are serious and long-term implications for lower home values in those areas.
Breanca Merritt, CRISP's founding director and clinical assistant professor at the O'Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs at IUPUI, points to the fact that homeownership is a primary way to build wealth. Yet research has shown that generations of black families have been blocked from owning their own homes because of biased practices and policies that historically kept them from either saving enough money to do so or accessing the necessary funds.
“Because many of these trends have resulted from discriminatory practices and policies leading to segregated neighborhoods, undoing those causes is equally complex,” Merritt adds. “In the short term, organizations and leaders have to consider how they may play a direct or indirect role in making affordable housing more attainable and whether they can help address the systemic lack of resources in those neighborhoods.”