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New study shines light on homes in predominantly African-American communities

Posted at 3:56 PM, Jan 04, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-07 11:06:09-05

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — A recent study revealed that homes in predominantly African-American neighborhoods are undervalued.


The study found that in Palm Beach County, homes in predominantly African-American neighborhoods are devalued 20 percent less when compared to similar homes in predominantly white neighborhoods.

"I don't know of any other areas in the city of West Palm Beach where there are residents that have two beautiful lakes that they live around," said Ann Nelson, whose home is more than just a place to live. It's a piece of history.

"It's important to me that people understand that blacks actually built every house that's in here," said Nelson.

She keeps a flier close by to remind her how far we've come and where we still need to go.

"This neighborhood was the last segregated neighborhood that was developed by the city of West Palm Beach," said Nelson.

Today, the color lines are more blurred, but a recent study by the Brookings Institute reveals that Palm Beach County homes in predominantly African-American neighborhoods are valued at $41,000 dollars less than comparable homes in predominantly white neighborhoods.

"If this property was any place else the property would be selling for maybe half a million or more," said Darnell Gardner, a real estate agent who added that this issue isn't black and white. There's also some gray.

"Such as if it's high rental area, if there's foreclosures, short sales, these all take in a fact of the values in a house," said Gardner.

He said developers will scout areas with natural amenities like Roosevelt Estates, sometimes with no desire to preserve its history.

"What they're going to do is they're going to come in, try to get the properties as low as they can, and rent them out make the values go down in the area, and then turn around, get more properties, start having blocks and then they'll have their master plan in building something," said Gardner.

These days, Ann said she's contacted a few times a month by someone asking if she's willing to sell her piece of paradise. But she's optimistic that one day the value will be measured beyond race.

"It's going to be known to be a beautiful neighborhood for anyone who desires to have the amenities and the quality that this neighborhood possess," said Nelson.