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Fla. Leading the Way in Minority Homeownership

The homeownership rate for Black and Latino families lags white households, but Fla. ranks third nationwide for its efforts and a homeownership rate for both at 68.1%.

WASHINGTON – A study by United Way of the National Capital Area found that homeownership has risen nationwide over recent years, but it remains low for Black and Latino Americans. The racial homeownership gap is worse than it was in 1960.

The study found that some states are seeing improved rates in homeownership, however, due in part to policies and programs designed to create a more equitable housing market. While Blacks and Latinos still face challenges in Florida, however, the state ranked third in United Way’s study for homeownership.

Using an indexed score to rank minority homeownership, Maryland topped United Way’s list at 32.59, with Florida in the No. 3 spot with a score of 31.64. The lowest state in the list, Wisconsin, had a score of only 15.5.

According to the study, Black and Latino Floridian households have a median income of $45,484, an unemployment rate of 10.4% and a total homeownership rate of 68.1%. In addition, some states have zero first-time homebuyer grants and loan programs, while Florida has five – a number matched by only a handful of other states.

Study authors said that Florida, in particular, has the second-highest number of FHA loans filed – a total of 6,790 loans. It included the number of FHA loans in its study because they’re “beneficial for lower-income buyers, seeking lower down payments and lower monthly mortgage insurance payments (in some cases) in comparison to conventional loans.”

The study also considered criteria such as median household income, unemployment rate, number of first-time homebuyer and homeownership rate.

Authors say the homeownership is strongest for Black and Latino residents in Maryland, largely due to the high annual incomes and low unemployment rates in the state. The median household income for Black and Latino residents in Maryland is $70,171, higher than that in other states. For comparison, the national average household income for the two cohorts is $46,859.

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