The Black Home Ownership Gap: The Solutions of a Fair Housing Market Leader | property

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Rice’s family were sent to the Parkside Extensions neighborhood in Toledo, where their parents faced another obstacle. They couldn’t get a loan to buy the home they wanted as the demographics of the area changed from white to black, a sign of risk for traditional lenders. This was redlining in action, and with no other option, her parents were forced to take out a higher interest rate loan from a subprime lender.

“Everyone had a middle income or a higher income, but it didn’t matter,” says Rice. “It was the complexion of the people who lived in the house.”

Rice’s connection to fair living continued into her teenage years. When she was 15, Rice did an internship at the Toledo Fair Housing Center.

“With this internship, I was gripped by the fair-living virus,” she says. Years later, she became the organization’s CEO.

And Rice has never looked back. She has over 35 years of experience in the fair housing industry. In her current role at the NFHA, Rice leads efforts to improve equal housing for millions of Americans.

With her extensive background and expertise, we asked Rice to share the biggest barriers to home ownership by blacks and how she felt they should be addressed. (Answers have been edited for length and clarity.)

Barriers to black home ownership

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