According to a new City of Madison Biennial Housing Report, African-American individuals in families are 27 times more likely to be homeless than white individuals in families.

“Housing Data By Race/Ethnicity,” a supplement of the City of Madison Biennial Housing Report, attempts to analyze the city’s entire housing market with a particular emphasis on the affordability of housing and breadth of housing options. Most of the data contained in the report was broken down by household income because of the emphasis on affordability.

“The purpose of this supplemental report is to reexamine the core datasets used in the report through the lens of race and ethnicity so we may identify additional trends and housing challenges experienced through this demographic, with a focus on geographic distribution of effects,” the report states.

In analyzing the results, the report found that segregation by race and segregation by income are closely correlated. “This limits the mobility of a large (and growing) percentage of the population,” the report states. “Due to historically low vacancy rates, residents with higher median-incomes (more likely to be White) have the ability to generally out-compete low-income residents (more likely Non-White) for the same unit (both ownership and rental) that are in desirable areas with high access to amenities – but potentially in rapidly developing areas as well. This limits housing choice and does not allow equitable access for housing across the city to people of color, solely on an economic basis.”

At roughly 80 percent of the population, the City of Madison is mostly white. The data shows that the white population in Madison is declining with Black, Asian, and Hispanic/Latino populations each currently represent roughly 6-8% of the population of the city.

The report found that income appears to be the largest contributing factor to disparity among racial demographics and that income directly affects mobility. Tracts that have historically housed people of color have begun to see increases in the concentration of those communities due to several factors including choice in housing, self-selecting populations, racism and structural disadvantage, and housing discrimination.

“Beyond segregation, the data show across many identifiers compiled for this report that the same handful of census tracts repeatedly appear as places with greater housing challenges including cost burden, stagnant values, high turnover, etc,” the report states. “These tracts consistently contain high percentages of Populations of Color. Considering the results, it is clear that these areas warrant focus to address the underlying housing challenge facing the neighborhoods.”

Written by Madison365 staff