St. Paul, MN, May 29, 2014 --(PR.com
)-- Post-foreclosure crisis, homeownership remains the goal for most, but the path to successful homeownership will look different across races, ages and regions in Minnesota. This is according to “The State of Homeownership: Smart Choices, Vibrant Communities,” a report that synthesizes key trends impacting the future of homeownership in Minnesota.
The Minnesota Homeownership Center developed the report to strengthen understanding of homeownership’s benefits after the foreclosure crisis and to inform its future programs and partnerships. The Center’s network of providers will also offer all of its homebuyer education classes for free across Minnesota in June to compliment the report and supporting outreach.
“Owning a home gives families their most important asset and anchors vibrant communities. The foreclosure crisis, and the bubble that preceded it, focused attention on the cost of homes, but it’s time to turn our attention back where it belongs: on the benefits homeownership adds to individuals and communities,” said Julie Gugin, executive director of the Minnesota Homeownership Center.
The State of Homeownership identified three important issues impacting homeownership in 2014:
1. Neighborhoods Are Recovering Unequally, Adding To The Homeownership Gap. The foreclosure crisis is nearing an end in most of Minnesota, but the Metro Area neighborhoods where Black, Hispanic and other communities of color are the majority of residents, continue to face depressed prices and high foreclosure rates. Minnesota’s homeownership gap grew during the foreclosure crisis, and now stands near levels not seen since 1990. Closing the gap will require strategies to both stabilize hard hit neighborhoods and tailor education and support to the needs and cultures of future homebuyers of color.
2. The Next Generation of Buyers Are Influenced By Personal, Local Economics. For Millennials, home purchases have been delayed by a slow start to their careers and high levels of student loan debt. Still, 93 percent of Millennial renters hope to own a home someday. .
3. Benefits Of Homeownership Remain Long-Term: Assets, Community, Safety, Health and Education. Post-foreclosure crisis research affirms that the long-term benefits of homeownership still hold true. Homeownership remains the greatest asset for most home-owning families, including providing more than half of total wealth for Hispanic and Black families. Homeowners are still more likely to be engaged in their neighborhood’s safety and are 25 percent more likely to participate in civic or neighborhood groups than renters.
4. Homeownership’s benefits for health and student achievement remain true as well, and the foreclosure crisis showed how losing homes could have detrimental effects. For example, the number of homeless or highly mobile (HHM) students in Minneapolis public schools increased by 40 percent between 2005 and 2009. A recent study of Minneapolis’ HHM students found that less than half made adequate yearly progress during their years of transition.
These findings come as the foreclosure crisis nears its end in most of Minnesota. The state’s nearly 12,000 foreclosures in 2013 matched the number experienced in 2006 – the first year of the crisis -- and were less than half of the more than 26,000 of foreclosures experienced at the peak in 2008.
“We can’t forget that homeownership’s benefits go beyond building assets to benefit community safety and engagement, education and health,” noted Gugin. “Now, research is showing that foreclosures have had reverse effects on these same issues. For example, studies are beginning to link foreclosure with mental illness, obesity and other health issues. Clearly our communities have paid a price for the foreclosure crisis and we all stand to benefit from helping our next generation succeed as homeowners. ”
This June, the Minnesota Homeownership Center and its network of nonprofit partners, the Homeownership Advisors Network, are offering free homebuyer education to all potential homebuyers. Pre-qualification or working with a Realtor are not required to participate. The free classes can be found online at www.hocmn.org/buyingahome/.
“The past eight years have shown that few things anchor vibrant communities more than homeownership, and nothing supports successful homeownership better than education. Now, our focus is on using these lessons and research to empower a new generation of homebuyers to make smart choices,” concluded Gugin.
For more information about the Minnesota Homeownership Center or to download a copy of The State Of Homeownership: Smart Choices, Vibrant Communities, visit www.hocmn.org.
The Minnesota Homeownership Center empowers smart homeownership choices and vital communities through education, research and partnerships grounded in the belief that smart, sustainable homeownership has an essential role to play in fostering vibrant communities statewide. The Center’s education work includes Home Stretch™, the in-person homebuyer course, and FRAMEWORK®, the online homebuyer course, as well as free one-on-one consultation for people planning to buy a home and homeowners working to save theirs.