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Black Home Ownership Rates in Seattle's King County Continue to Shrink

King County, Washington was once home to a large number of black homeowners, today the county lags far behind the rest of the country.
June 28, 2017, 7am PDT | Casey Brazeal | @northandclark
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In 1970, 49 percent of black households in King County, Washington were homowners. "Since then, black homeownership in King County has been on a steady downward spiral, with just 28 percent of black households in the county owning their home — about 13,000 of the nearly 48,000 total households," Gene Balk reports for The Seattle Times. The issue, which is mirrored to a smaller extent by King County's Latino families, does not reflect nationwide trends. In fact, the percentage of black families who own homes has held relatively steady.

"It’s a sign of how the postwar Boeing Boom was, in many ways, more beneficial to Seattle’s black community than the current tech boom, says Ron Sims, former deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, who also served as the King County Executive," Balk writes. The Seattle economy recovered for many, and the value of homes around the city has taken off, but black families in the city did not benefit from the recovery in equal measure. Experts speaking with Balk highlighted the tech industry in particular as excluding African American workers.

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Published on Monday, June 12, 2017 in The Seattle Times
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