Detroit Today: The case for small dollar mortgages in Detroit

In a recent report, local think tank Detroit Future City explores how a diversity of price points in mortgage lending is key to a more economically equitable future.

Houses in the city of Detroit.

Homes across Detroit are continuing a six-year trend of significantly rising property values, with increases larger than most surrounding communities.

A mortgage loan is more than just a pathway to homeownership, it’s a building block of economic equity, neighborhood stability and wealth-building — especially for African Americans, says local think tank Detroit Future City.

Once home to the largest concentration of Black homeownership in the country, many residents have been priced out of Detroit’s housing market or are simply choosing to buy a home elsewhere, with only 1 in 5 mortgage applications by a Black homebuyer in the region made within Detroit.

As Detroit seeks to attract and retain Black middle-class households and work towards a more economically equitable future, increasing homeownership through mortgage lending at a diversity of price points is key, according to Detroit Future City. In a recent report, the group identified small dollar mortgages, or those ranging from $30,000–$100,000, as one potential way to provide relief to Detroit families.

Anika Goss, CEO of Detroit Future City, joined Detroit Today on Tuesday to discuss the report as well as other potential ways to bridge the housing gap in Detroit.

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Anika Goss is the CEO of Detroit Future City, a local think tank that reported on the need for small-dollar mortgages in Detroit. She says to increase homeownership in Detroit, we need financial institutions to support lending for homes at a range of prices. 

“The system itself is not conducive to the diversity in homeowner borrowers,” says Goss. “The majority of financial institutions do not want to make a loan for less than 100,000.”

Listen to Detroit Today with host Stephen Henderson weekdays from 9-10 a.m. ET on 101.9 WDET and streaming on-demand.

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    Dynamic and diverse voices. News, politics, community and the issues that define our region. Hosted by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Stephen Henderson, Detroit Today brings you fresh and perceptive views weekdays at 9 am and 7 pm.