Planetizen - Urban Planning News, Jobs, and Education

The Realities of Black Homeownership

Natalie Moore details her experience in Chicago's Chatham neighborhood as the child of black home owners in a segregated city.
March 2, 2017, 10am PST | Casey Brazeal | @northandclark
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Black neighborhood
A resident of Chatham celebrating a "rain ready" retrofit.
Center for Neighborhood Technology

"My parents, Joe and Yvonne Moore, married in 1974, and their first home decision was a cultural and practical choice: They wanted to live in an African-American community on Chicago’s South Side, put down roots and start a family," Natalie Moore writes for WBEZ, detailing her family's experiences as black homeowners. "Before 1948, Chatham had been all white and deliberately kept blacks out, an example of the discrimination that met migrants from the South," Moore writes. After the Supreme Court ruled that this discrimination was illegal, the neighborhood went from all white to all black. Moore describes seeing white people on the Red Line only when there was a White Sox game at Comisky Park several miles north of her home.

When she was in college, Moore's parents sold their home in Chatham, the timing turned out to work in their favor, because of the housing collapse. "Subprime loans were targeted at black homeowners, and those loans were concentrated in black neighborhoods, like Chatham," Moore reports. Moore faced a whole other battery of issues when she became a homeowner in Chicago's Bronzeville neighborhood. When Moore was looking to move to a larger home, she found it hard to sell her condo because the bank’s appraiser would not give her what seemed to be a fair valuation. Moore spoke with a realtor who said this is an issue homeowners face particularly in black neighborhoods. "Even though Chicago has seen a glut of condos, she said, “there are unique forces at play in black neighborhoods when it comes to homeownership, like fighting bad appraisals," Moore writes. 

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Published on Sunday, February 5, 2017 in WBEZ FM Chicago
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