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While many parts of the Bluff City have seen property values spike, South Memphis’ 38106 ZIP code has one of the top five highest rates of underwater mortgages in the country, according to an U.S. Home Equity & Underwater Report by ATTOM.

In fact, 60 percent of properties in the area are mortgaged for more than their market value.

But a rash of underwater mortgages doesn’t just happen and neither do the other mass-scale social ills plaguing many of Memphis’ lower income, majority-minority neighborhoods like South Memphis.

Factors like low property values and homeownership rates, vacant and blighted properties, crime, low education and sky-high poverty rates are often the result of a lack of capital investment and, in certain areas of Memphis and around the country, the effects of systemic racism.

Related: “Seeing Red I: Mapping 90 years of redlining in Memphis”

To help balance the scales, nonprofit The Works, Inc. established the $2 million Opportunity Home Loan Fund to target neighborhoods in nine ZIP codes across Memphis’ most historically disinvested neighborhoods — Binghampton, Orange Mound, North Memphis and South Memphis. The initial $500,000 seed money came from Nashville-based Pinnacle Financial Partners. …..Read More

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