DETROIT—Alter Road runs northwest along this city’s border. To the east is Grosse Pointe Park, an upscale suburb dotted with grand old mansions built in the auto industry’s heyday. To the west is the city of Detroit, lined with abandoned houses and empty lots.
On the east side of the street, getting a mortgage to buy a home is a breeze. On the west side, it is hardly worth trying.
Detroit is making a comeback after years of decline that led to a bankruptcy filing in 2013. But large swaths of the city are left behind, starved of the housing credit needed to revive them. No purchase mortgages were made last year in almost a third of Detroit’s census tracts, and fewer than five each in another third, according to data from LendingPatterns.com, a mortgage-data analysis tool.
The impact runs disproportionately along racial lines in the majority Black city. Detroit’s