What State Has Rampant Housing Discrimination?

If I told you a state that starts with “M” had these homeownership rates in 2000, what state would you guess? (Economists don’t answer.)

White – 77 percent
African-American – 32 percent
Native Americans – 49 percent
Asian/Pacific Islanders – 52 percent
Hispanics/Latinos – 43 percent

Did you guess Mississippi?

Well, you guessed wrong. It’s that bastion of liberalism, Minnesota. The state so liberal it voted for Mondale over Reagan and Dukakis over (the liberal elder) Bush.

“In the past year, Minnesota has become one of the leaders, if not the leader in homeownership in the country,” said [Paul Williams of the Local Initiatives Support Corporation]. “Yet, communities of color have among the lowest homeownership rates in the country here. So again, following along the same lines of disparities that you’ve heard about today, that same disparity exists in terms of homeownership rates.”

“There’s something about our systems, our communities, the way we seem to do things here in Minnesota, despite [emphasis mine] the progressive label that we get in our policies and our politics and in our communities. Something’s going on here,” he said.

I’d argue that the results are not “despite” Minnesota’s progressivism, but in fact because of it. From trapping poor minority families in public housing to trapping poor minority children in failing schools (and a dozen other examples of the soft bigotry of low expectations), lower outcomes for minorities are the predictable result of government programs which entice people to accept the status quo under the assumption that they are incapable of helping themselves.

housing,discrimination,homeownership

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