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NORTHWEST NEWS

Grants Pass Anti-Camping Laws Head to Supreme Court

Grants Pass in southern Oregon has become the unlikely face of the nation’s homelessness crisis as its case over anti-camping laws goes to the U.S. Supreme Court scheduled for April 22. The case has broad implications for cities, including whether they can fine or jail people for camping in public. Since 2020, court orders have barred Grants Pass from enforcing its anti-camping laws. Now, the city is asking the justices to review lower court rulings it says has prevented it from addressing the city's homelessness crisis. Rights groups say people shouldn’t be punished for lacking housing.

Four Ballot Measures for Portland Voters to Consider

Proposals from the city, PPS, Metro and Urban Flood Safety & Water Quality District.

Washington Gun Store Sold Hundreds of High-Capacity Ammunition Magazines in 90 Minutes Without Ban

KGW-TV reports Wally Wentz, owner of Gator’s Custom Guns in Kelso, described Monday as “magazine day” at his store. Wentz is behind the court challenge to Washington’s high-capacity magazine ban, with the help of the Silent Majority Foundation in eastern Washington.

Five Running to Represent Northeast Portland at County Level Include Former Mayor, Social Worker, Hotelier (Part 2)

Five candidates are vying for the spot previously held by Susheela Jayapal, who resigned from office in November to focus on running for Oregon's 3rd Congressional District. Jesse Beason is currently serving as interim commissioner in Jayapal’s place. (Part 2)

NEWS BRIEFS

Bank Announces 14th Annual “I Got Bank” Contest for Youth in Celebration of National Financial Literacy Month

The nation’s largest Black-owned bank will choose ten winners and award each a jumi,000 savings account ...

Literary Arts Transforms Historic Central Eastside Building Into New Headquarters

The new 14,000-square-foot literary center will serve as a community and cultural hub with a bookstore, café, classroom, and event...

Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Announces New Partnership with the University of Oxford

Tony Bishop initiated the CBCF Alumni Scholarship to empower young Black scholars and dismantle financial barriers ...

Mt. Hood Jazz Festival Returns to Mt. Hood Community College with Acclaimed Artists

Performing at the festival are acclaimed artists Joshua Redman, Hailey Niswanger, Etienne Charles and Creole Soul, Camille Thurman,...

President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. Approves Major Disaster Declaration for Oregon

Yolanda J. Jackson has been named Federal Coordinating Officer for federal recovery operations in the affected areas. ...

Idaho's ban on youth gender-affirming care has families desperately scrambling for solutions

Forced to hide her true self, Joe Horras’ transgender daughter struggled with depression and anxiety until three years ago, when she began to take medication to block the onset of puberty. The gender-affirming treatment helped the now-16-year-old find happiness again, her father said. ...

Pro-Palestinian demonstrators shut down airport highways and key bridges in major US cities

CHICAGO (AP) — Pro-Palestinian demonstrators blocked roadways in Illinois, California, New York and the Pacific Northwest on Monday, temporarily shutting down travel into some of the nation's most heavily used airports, onto the Golden Gate and Brooklyn bridges and on a busy West Coast highway. ...

Caleb Williams among 13 confirmed prospects for opening night of the NFL draft

NEW YORK (AP) — Southern California quarterback Caleb Williams, the popular pick to be the No. 1 selection overall, will be among 13 prospects attending the first round of the NFL draft in Detroit on April 25. The NFL announced the 13 prospects confirmed as of Thursday night, and...

Georgia ends game on 12-0 run to beat Missouri 64-59 in first round of SEC tourney

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Blue Cain had 19 points, Justin Hill scored 17 off the bench and 11th-seeded Georgia finished the game on a 12-0 run to beat No. 14 seed Missouri 64-59 on Wednesday night in the first round of the Southeastern Conference Tournament. Cain hit 6 of 12 shots,...

OPINION

Loving and Embracing the Differences in Our Youngest Learners

Yet our responsibility to all parents and society at large means we must do more to share insights, especially with underserved and under-resourced communities. ...

Gallup Finds Black Generational Divide on Affirmative Action

Each spring, many aspiring students and their families begin receiving college acceptance letters and offers of financial aid packages. This year’s college decisions will add yet another consideration: the effects of a 2023 Supreme Court, 6-3 ruling that...

OP-ED: Embracing Black Men’s Voices: Rebuilding Trust and Unity in the Democratic Party

The decision of many Black men to disengage from the Democratic Party is rooted in a complex interplay of historical disenchantment, unmet promises, and a sense of disillusionment with the political establishment. ...

COMMENTARY: Is a Cultural Shift on the Horizon?

As with all traditions in all cultures, it is up to the elders to pass down the rituals, food, language, and customs that identify a group. So, if your auntie, uncle, mom, and so on didn’t teach you how to play Spades, well, that’s a recipe lost. But...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Hillary Clinton and Malala Yousafzai producing. An election nigh. ‘Suffs’ has timing on its side

NEW YORK (AP) — Shaina Taub was in the audience at “Suffs,” her buzzy and timely new musical about women’s suffrage, when she spied something that delighted her. It was intermission, and Taub, both creator and star, had been watching her understudy perform at a matinee preview...

Supreme Court makes it easier to sue for job discrimination over forced transfers

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court on Wednesday made it easier for workers who are transferred from one job to another against their will to pursue job discrimination claims under federal civil rights law, even when they are not demoted or docked pay. Workers only have to show...

Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in US more likely to believe in climate change: AP-NORC poll

Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders in the United States are more likely than the overall adult population to believe in human-caused climate change, according to a new poll. It also suggests that partisanship may not have as much of an impact on this group's environmental...

ENTERTAINMENT

Luke Combs leads the 2024 ACM Awards nominations, followed by Morgan Wallen and Megan Moroney

Luke Combs leads the nominees for the 2024 Academy of Country Music Awards with eight nods to his name, it was announced Tuesday. For a fifth year in a row, he's up for both male artist of the year and the top prize, entertainer of the year. The 59th annual ACM Awards...

Studio behind hit ‘Sound of Freedom’ wants to give audiences greenlight power

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Angel Studios wants to give audiences the power to decide what movies are made. The company behind last summer’s surprise box office hit, the child trafficking movie “ Sound of Freedom,” employs a crowdfunding model to finance projects from the ground up. ...

Margot Robbie making ‘Monopoly’ movie and Blumhouse reviving ‘Blair Witch’

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Margot Robbie has her sights on another toy. The “ Barbie ” producer and star is making a Monopoly movie, with Hasbro and Lionsgate behind it, the companies announced Wednesday at the CinemaCon conference in Las Vegas. Robbie, and her production company...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Trump goes from court to campaign at a bodega in his heavily Democratic hometown

NEW YORK (AP) — Fresh from a Manhattan courtroom, Donald Trump visited a New York bodega where a man was stabbed...

Maui Fire Department report on deadly wildfire details how it was no match for unprecedented blazes

HONOLULU (AP) — When wildfires broke out across Maui last August, some firefighters carried victims piggyback...

Myanmar's ousted leader Suu Kyi moved from prison to house arrest due to heat, military says

BANGKOK (AP) — Myanmar’s jailed former leader Aung San Suu Kyi has been moved from prison to house arrest as a...

AP PHOTOS: Colorful roadshows and rallies mark India's election season before voting starts Friday

NEW DELHI (AP) — Every five years, the world’s most populous democracy holds a giant election for millions of...

Croatia votes in a parliamentary election that's a showdown between its president and prime minister

ZAGREB, Croatia (AP) — Croatia is voting Wednesday in a parliamentary election after a campaign that centered on...

Death toll from 4 days of rains rises to 63 in Pakistan with more rain on the forecast

PESHAWAR, Pakistan (AP) — Lightning and heavy rains led to 14 deaths in Pakistan, officials said Wednesday,...

Hope Yen the Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The American dream of homeownership has felt its biggest drop since the Great Depression, according to new 2010 census figures released Thursday.

The analysis by the Census Bureau found the homeownership rate fell to 65.1 percent last year. While that level remains the second highest decennial rate, analysts say the U.S. may never return to its mid-decade housing boom peak in which nearly 70 percent of occupied households were owned by their residents.

The reason: a longer-term economic reality of tighter credit, prolonged job losses and reduced government involvement.

Unemployed young adults are least likely to own, delaying first-time home purchases to live with Mom and Dad. Middle-aged adults 35-64, mostly homeowners who were hit with mortgage foreclosures or bankruptcy after the housing bust in 2006, are at their lowest levels of ownership in decades.

Measured by race, the homeownership gap between whites and blacks is now at its widest since 1960, wiping out more than 40 years of gains.

"The changes now taking place are mind-boggling: the housing market has completely crashed and attitudes toward housing are shifting from owning to renting," said Patrick Newport, economist with IHS Global Insight. "While 10 years ago owning a home was the American Dream, I'm not sure a lot of people still think that way."

He noted the now-diminished roles of mortgage buyers Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which for decades at the urging of government helped enable loans to borrowers with poor credit, many of them minorities. In a shift, the Obama administration earlier this year said it would move from a longtime government focus on promoting homeownership for all and instead steer people with low incomes toward renting where appropriate.

Congress has been considering whether to eliminate the federal tax deduction for home-mortgage interest, a popular incentive to home-buying that's been in place since the early 20th century.

Given depressed housing values that could continue for at least another four to five years, it now makes more sense in most cases to rent than own, Newport said.

Nationwide, the homeownership rate fell to 65.1 percent - or 76 million occupied housing units that were owned by their residents - from 66.2 percent in 2000. That drop-off of 1.1 percentage points is the largest since 1940, when homeownership plummeted 4.2 percentage points during the Great Depression to a low of 43.6 percent.

Since 1940, the number of Americans owning homes had steadily increased in each decennial census due to a mostly booming economy, favorable tax laws and easier financing. The one exception had been 1980-1990, when ownership remained unchanged at 64.2 percent.

Broken down by state, 41 states saw declines in home ownership since 2000, many of them in the South and West where foreclosures were more common. They were led by South Carolina, Alabama, Florida, Mississippi and North Carolina. On the other end of the scale, states with higher shares of vacation homes owned by affluent baby boomers saw small increases in ownership, including New Hampshire, Hawaii, Alaska and Vermont.

The U.S. housing crisis is far worse than the experience in most Western industrialized nations, which, unlike the U.S., did not foster markets of subprime lending to promote homeownership. The U.S. continues to maintain a relatively high rate of homeownership, surpassed only by countries such as Spain, Ireland, Australia and England.

"In the U.S., there's still a strong cultural pull toward homeownership, because in normal times it's always been seen as a way to build net worth and equity," said Dan McCue, research manager at Harvard's Joint Center for Housing Studies. But with many former homeowners now renting, he said, clearly that dynamic has changed: "It puts a renewed focus on rentals, and on ways to create new opportunities for low-income households to build their wealth."

Blacks, who as a whole have lower income and higher unemployment than other groups, were particularly set back by the housing bust. Their homeownership rate fell from 46.3 percent in 2000 to 44.3 percent; among whites, the rate dipped slightly from 72.4 percent to 72.2 percent. Whites are now on average 1.63 times more likely than blacks to own a home, the widest gap since 1960.

Among all minorities, homeownership in the U.S. rose slightly over the past decade to 48 percent from 47.4 percent, boosted by more home buying among the younger and larger Hispanic population. Hispanic homeownership increased from 45.7 percent to 47.3 percent.

In all, nearly 44 percent of all renters in the U.S. are minorities, compared with only 22 percent of homeowners. Broken down by state, minorities make up more than half of all renters in 10 states and the District of Columbia, up from 6 in 2000 - with the new states being New York, New Jersey, Mississippi, Louisiana and New Mexico.

"There is no doubt that a large part of the white-minority economic divide is reflected in the disproportionate minority representation among the nation's renters," said William H. Frey, a demographer at Brookings Institution, who analyzed the race data. "The recent financial crises, including large numbers of subprime loans to African Americans, has dramatically widened the white-black homeownership disparity."

Other census findings:

-Homeownership rates decreased in each region of the country over the last decade. Midwesterners were most likely to own a house, at 69.2 percent, followed by Southerners at 66.7 percent, Northeasterners at 62.2 percent and Westerners at 60.5 percent.

-For the fourth census in a row, West Virginia had the highest homeownership rate, at 73.4 percent. The District of Columbia, with its high share of single twenty- and thirty-somethings who rent, had the lowest at 42 percent.

-While homeowners were the majority in most of the nation's metropolitan areas, they were outnumbered by renters in many of the nation's largest cities. They included New York City, where renters made up 69 percent of households, Los Angeles at 61.8 percent, Chicago at 55.1 percent and Houston at 54.6 percent.

By age, the highest ownership rate nationwide is for those 65 and older, about 77.5 percent. Older Americans are more likely to own their homes debt-free and thus be less exposed to the foreclosure crisis. Still, their homeownership rate is down slightly from a 2000 peak of 78.1 percent.

Among adults 34 and younger, homeownership was nearly 40 percent, the highest since the mid-1990s. For adults in the 35-44, 45-54 and 55-64 age groups, homeownership rates fell to their lowest since at least 1980.

Peter Francese, founder of American Demographics magazine who is now analyst for the MetLife Mature Market Institute, believes Americans aren't completely giving up on homeownership. He noted millions of young adults are delaying home-buying while they temporarily double-up with their parents, representing pent-up demand for houses that will surface once the job market begins to recover.

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Online:

http://www.census.gov

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The Skanner Foundation's 38th Annual MLK Breakfast