2022 Community Needs Assessment
the “Caucasian or White” race also includes those who claimed being Hispanic later in the survey.
1. What are the major data changes from baseline? (prior needs assessment)
This data was not measured in the prior assessment, but based on the information we have gathered, there seems to be a consistent discrepancy between the number of racially diverse people in poverty, and the number of those who are served as clients.
Nationwide, there is a larger percentage of minorities living in poverty and homelessness.
Additionally, according to americanhealthrankings.org, black/African American households are the least likely of Utah minorities to own their own homes at just 24.3%
2. What contributed to these changes?
A publication on huduser.gov discusses something called the “knowledge gap,” in which there exists a common misconception about the requirements of homeownership.
3. What barriers (specific to income) were made clear by the data?
The above mentioned publication made it clear that, while 3 million African American households in the US are, in fact, “mortgage ready,” the lack of knowledge pertaining to homeownership keeps them locked into the rent cycle. Many times, they have expressed a concern over less-than-perfect credit, or the lack of a 20% down payment.
4. What gaps in service were noted for this issue?
- Knowledge of services and resources available
- Homeowner education and counseling like Sun Country Home Solutions / Neighborworks or USU Extension
5. Are there individual/family/community unmet needs in this area?
Outreach services may be a potential necessity in order to “spread the word” about such services and programs.
6. What linkages (including partnerships) are needed to address barriers, gaps, and unmet need?
- St. George Housing Authority
- USDA Rural Development
- Sun Country Home Solutions
7. From reviewing this data, what has your agency learned about the root cause of poverty in your community?
Historically, mortgage lenders and banks were less likely to approve loans to racial minorities in certain geographical areas, thus segregating them to designated neighborhoods of towns/cities; an issue that, unfortunately, persists today.
Short of massive systematic changes to the structural racism, one option for Five County to assist in addressing the racial disparities in homeownership in Southern Utah would be to strengthen community partnerships and create an outreach program to better inform those in need of available services.