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A new report issued by the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) is accusing mortgage lenders serving the Baltimore market of redlining based on race.
“At the heart of this report is the role of race in Baltimore,” said the report. “NCRC’s analysis clearly shows that while majority White neighborhoods are sites of robust lending activity, majority African-American neighborhoods are consistently excluded from lending activity.”
The city of Baltimore is home to approximately 622,000 people, with one-quarter of the population living below the poverty line, the NCRC said, adding that race continues to be a dividing factor in home loan credit access. The disparity ratio of home loans to the percentage of the population within Baltimore is 210 percent for whites and 37 percent for African-Americans.
Furthermore, the report noted that credit access immediately improves beyond the city limits. Within the city, 70 percent of the census tracts were defined as low-to-moderate income (LMI), but an LMI applicant was 30 percent more likely to be approved for a mortgage loan in a middle- or upper-income area of Baltimore County than in an LMI city neighborhood.
“While many Americans take the ability to obtain a mortgage for granted, majority African American neighborhoods in Baltimore City are largely closed off from access to responsible credit and economic opportunity,” said NCRC President and CEO John Taylor. “These neighborhoods are lending deserts. This is part of a sad legacy of racial discrimination and segregation that continues to afflict the city.”