Housing in Black America
Many working class Black Americans struggle to obtain affordable housing. The percentage of Black homeowners decreased between 2005 and 2011 from 46% to 43%. Much of these losses can be attributed to the housing crisis where so many Americans lost their houses to foreclosure. This also means more than half of all African Americans rent. What’s even more alarming is the fact that 61% of renters spend more than 30% of their income on rent. This is an increase from 53% in 2005. This is important because it is recommended that no more than thirty percent of a households’ income is spent for housing costs.
For homeowners the percentage of household income spent on housing increased from 40% to 47% during the same time period. Although this is lower than it is for renters it is still higher than the national average of 37%. Having to use so much of income for housing makes it much more difficult for African Americans to make ends meet, especially since Blacks have also experienced a large increase in median gross rent from $686 in 2005 to $819 per month in 2011. On a positive note the median value of homes owned by African Americans increased from $116,500 to $126,000 despite the continuing trouble in the housing market.