The Housing Center Releases the 11th Annual State of Fair Housing in Northeast Ohio Report

The Housing Center Releases the 11th Annual State of Fair Housing in Northeast Ohio Report

May 23rd, 2016

Housing discrimination is still a problem in Northeast Ohio. In 2015, there were 143 complaints of housing discrimination in Northeast Ohio that were filed with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, up from the 25-year average of 138.9. Although the increase in cases filed is significant, it represents only a small fraction of the total number of instances of housing discrimination in the region. Using statistical analysis, The Housing Center estimates that there are at least 33,690 instances of housing discrimination annually in the region. In examining the trends in the data over the past five years (2011-2015), the Housing Center found the most common bases of discrimination alleged in complaints were disability (35.5%), familial status (26.9%), and race (17.9%). A recent study by The Housing Center uncovered housing discrimination against the LGBTQ community in 34.1% of rental transactions.

In the five-county Cleveland-Elyria MSA in both 2012 and 2013, African Americans were more than twice as likely to be denied a home-purchase loan (23.07% and 23.4% respectively) as whites (10.7% and 10.4% respectively). Upper-income African Americans were denied home purchase loans at higher rates (21.8% in 2012, 21.0% in 2013) than low-income whites (20.1% in 2012, 20.8% in 2013). In 2013, a fifth of all home purchase loans made to African Americans were high-cost mortgages. In 2012 and 2013 in the Cleveland-Elyria MSA, African Americans were nearly three times as likely to receive a high cost mortgage (10.1% and 20.3% respectively) as white borrowers (3.4% and 5.9% respectively).

Housing segregation has remained constant for African Americans since 1990, and the region is ranked 5th most segregated for major metropolitan areas. Affordable housing programs such as the Housing Choice Voucher Program and the Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program (LIHTC) are not expanding choice for low income people of color as voucher participants and properties using the LIHTC program are clustered in areas with concentrated, racialized poverty.

The report includes a review of municipal fair housing laws and local zoning codes. In Northeast Ohio, 57 municipalities have local fair housing ordinances, many of which expand protection beyond national and state laws. Eleven municipalities have zoning ordinances that restrict or regulate group homes in ways that potentially violate the Fair Housing Act. Eleven municipalities have criminal nuisance abatement ordinances that could have the effect of causing the eviction of victims of domestic violence.

 To read the full report, please download it here.

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