Joe Weber  Bronwen Lichtenstein, Stepher J. Clipper, Spencer A. Fonte




Lichtenstein, B., J. Weber, S. J. Clipper, and S. A. Fonte. 2019. Cumulative disadvantage or beating the odds? Racial disparaties in home foreclosure by neighborhood composition in the American Deep South. Housing, Theory, and SocietyDOI: 10.1080/14036096.2019.1568297.


The racial gap in U.S. homeownership has widened since the recession of 2007–2011, partly because of housing loss from foreclosure. This study uses cumulative disadvantage theory to analyse the racial dimensions of home foreclosure activity across neighbourhoods in a Southern county. The methods involved collecting and analysing 1013 foreclosures in a population almost evenly divided between white and black residents. After creating a foreclosure ratio to measure black–white dissimilarities in homeownership, we used ArcGIS to map foreclosure landscapes in all tracts and three tracts with different racial compositions. The analysis identified racial disparities that are consistent with cumulative disadvantage theory. Although the greatest disparity occurred in significantly black areas, black homeowners were
more likely to experience foreclosure compared to whites in all 45 tracts of the county. We conclude that the higher rate of foreclosure among black owners relates to discriminatory lending practices and other forms of cumulative disadvantage that affect housing outcomes in this population.