NPR, April 14, 2022, Millions of Americans are resorting to risky ways to buy an affordable home
Land contracts and other kinds of alternative financing have been around a long time, with roots in the race-based redlining that blocked Black Americans from traditional mortgages. But legal aid experts say they became more common after the Great Recession, and as housing and rental costs have skyrocketed. They may be the only option for some, but these alternative deals pose a financial risk to families with the least to lose.
A first of its kind national survey by The Pew Charitable Trusts finds 36 million Americans — about 20% of all borrowers — have used alternative ways to finance a home at some point, including 7 million currently in such arrangements. The borrowers are largely low-income, more likely to live in rural areas, and disproportionately Hispanic and Black, reflecting the racial gap in homeownership.