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Minorities slip behind as mortgage lending rebounds in Kent County

Tuesday, December 4, 2018
Brian McVicar | MLive
Nikitra Bailey

GRAND RAPIDS, MI -- Ask Galen and Alice Henderson about their dream home, and the couple doesn't skip a beat.

There would be a finished basement, they say. A two-car garage. A big backyard. And three bedrooms so their children - Zahir, 8, and Jamyah, 13 - don't have to share one.

Nothing too fancy, they say, just a place to call their own.

"Right now, we're in a two-bedroom," Galen Henderson said, describing the duplex his family rents on Old Valley Court SE in Kentwood. "We're stepping on each other's toes."

Homeownership is a touchstone of the American dream. It's seen as a stepping stone to the middle class, helping families build wealth and stability. It strengthens neighborhoods.

But for the Hendersons, who are black, it's a goal that remains out of reach.

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