Barriers to Home Purchase for African-Americans and Hispanics in Syracuse

Cityscape, Vol. 3, No. 1, March 1997

40 Pages Posted: 22 Mar 1999  

Susan Hamilton

Syracuse United Neighbors

Stephen J. H. Cogswell

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

Abstract

African-Americans and Hispanics in Syracuse, New York, have lower homeownership rates than whites with comparable incomes, despite the availability of affordable housing. Using ethnographic methods, the study team examined home purchase by Hispanics and African-Americans as a multiphase process. Very few of the more than 100 households interviewed by telephone and in person had home-purchase experiences that paralleled the conventional process. They generally found homes through word of mouth rather than Realtors, and many encountered obstacles to finding, purchasing, and financing homes. Alternatives to conventional financing were relatively common, especially after 1975, and portfolio lending became increasingly important for African-American homebuyers. Barriers to homeownership included employment uncertainty, lack of understanding about the homebuying process, strict credit requirements, and cultural misunderstandings.

JEL Classification: J15, R21, R29

Suggested Citation

Hamilton, Susan and Cogswell, Stephen J. H., Barriers to Home Purchase for African-Americans and Hispanics in Syracuse. Cityscape, Vol. 3, No. 1, March 1997. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=157272 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.157272

Susan Hamilton (Contact Author)

Syracuse United Neighbors

Stephen J. H. Cogswell

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

United States

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