A Charlotte lawmaker and the NAACP are calling for action after a WCNC Charlotte investigation uncovered widespread lending disparities that show Black people are more likely to be denied home loans than their white counterparts.
After hearing our findings, Rep. Alma Adams (D), NC-12, questioned the problem during a recent meeting.
“It is still a problem and it shouldn’t be,” Rep. Adams said. “We really need to address this issue. This is a critical issue.”
The House Financial Services Committee, which she sits on, has scheduled a hearing on March 10 called “Justice for All: Achieving Racial Equity Through Fair Access to Housing and Financial Services.”
“We need to press this even more,” she said. “We’re on it, we know that it exists and we’re going to try to do some things to fix it.”
Federal data show most of the largest lenders in the Charlotte market deny Black applicants two to three times more often than whites, largely due to credit history. Advocates say addressing the systemic problem requires an even stronger commitment from banks, credit unions and mortgage companies, the borrowers themselves and the federal government.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg NAACP President Rev. Corine Mack said the lending disparities we identified are the result of hundreds of years of oppression, which created persistent socio-economic disadvantages. She said the system needs to be “revamped.”
“It never ceases to amaze me that in 2021 we are dealing with this, that race still continues to be the biggest disease in this country,” Rev. Mack said. “It’s the never-ending battle for Black people and it’s not to say that there hasn’t been some Black success. There has been. We know that, but in comparison to our white counterparts, it’s minimal and that should not be and that is because the system is not working. We deserve a good quality of life just like anyone else.”