Although this report, done by the Northern Virgina Regional Commission, should not come as a surprise to anyone, it does codify what we all knew, Prince William County’s demographics are radically changing.  Even Corey Stewart, admitting it months ago, shared that Prince William County was experiencing a “demographic change”.   As stated in this Washington Post article:

Prince William County has become the most ethnically and racially diverse county in Northern Virginia as a profound demographic shift in the region is reversing half a century of white-flight suburbanization, according to a report by the Northern Virginia Regional Commission.

While places like Arlington and Alexandria are lamenting that their population is losing its diverse landscape, we are gaining their faces in our changing population.  Marty Nohe has some great quotes as follows:

“Because we’re far less urbanized, it’s an easy assumption to make that we’re a predominantly white community,” said Prince William Supervisor Martin E. Nohe (R-Coles), who attended Billingsley’s presentation at a recent meeting of the Northern Virginia Regional Commission. “But my hope is that people will recognize that our community has changed, and I think the change we’re experiencing is a positive one.”

No members of minority groups serve on the heavily Republican Prince William Board of County Supervisors or on the city councils of Manassas and Manassas Park, but Nohe predicted that, too, will soon change. “As newcomers to our county get more established, you’ll see more minority participation in politics,” he said, noting that the county has a black sheriff and black School Board members.

Obviously, the elephant in the room is our recent debacle over immigration legal and illegal, as my favorite friend Mr. Duecaster likes to point out, and how that has impacted our community.

Because the report relies on Census Bureau estimates that extend only through 2007, it is not clear how the recent economic downturn, the foreclosure crisis and efforts in Prince William and Manassas to target illegal immigrants might affect the region’s demographics. The highest foreclosure rates in the region are in the jurisdictions that have experienced the largest minority growth.

19 Thoughts to “Prince William County’s new diversity codified in regional report!”

  1. Moon-howler

    So what’s the bottom line here?

    Are some supervisors we know still trying to fight the inevitable?

  2. When a demonstration is too peaceful…

    Just ‘invent’ the enemy.

    The American Civil Liberties Union says undercover
    police officers posing as protesters staged a violent confrontation
    with another officer during the Democratic convention in Denver.

  3. Lucky Duck

    My concern is what you quoted above that “The highest foreclosure rates in the region are in the jurisdictions that have experienced the largest minority growth.”

    My question is why? Did the sellers (agents, banks, etc.) take advantage of the recent arrivals or did the recent arrivals act irresponsibly in buying something they simply could not afford? What responsibility do the new arrivals have to those remaining residents for being such a large part of the foreclosure market and driving their values down so much?

    Why were the newcomers sold houses on a dingy side street in Woodbridge for $350,000. that three years earlier sold for $154,000? How come what was sold on the same street to a recent immigrant for $390,000 in 2006 was foreclosed and sold in 2008 for $141,000? I spoke to both homeowners and can attest to their recent arrivals in the USA and the prices paid and sold for can be accessed via pubic records.

    So, I ask, who is responsible for such actions? How can the community be sure it won’t happen again and yet remain welcoming to new and diverse populations?

  4. ISO Decency

    Skunks come in all colors and stripes. Newcomers were lied to, would be my best bet. Given false promises.

  5. Censored bybvbl

    Lucky Duck, recent immigrants took advantage of the same type of liberal financing that long-time residents of PWC took advantage of, but many of the newer immigrants had no experience or knowledge of the cyclical nature of housing booms/slumps as well as often having jobs related to construction so that when building ceased, they were particularly hard hit.. All types of people were encouraged to buy, buy, buy before being priced out of the market.

    When more typical ARMs come due in the near future – interest only or various ARMs made to those with good credit – and people can’t make the payment, default, and abandon the house , what will they owe the rest of us?

    Maybe the Woodbridge residents you cite overpaid just as thousands of people did a couple years ago – or millions nationwide. The people that got a “bargain” got it because of the glut of foreclosures, tight credit, and banks’ now realistic assessment that they’d better dump the properties at any cost rather than sit on them any longer. Somewhere in that time period there was also a bit of mortgage fraud perpetuated by some flippers.

  6. Moon-howler

    I read somewhere that the mortgate fraud suits will never all be prosecuted because there are simply too many of them. Where was the oversight while this was all going on?

  7. M-H,

    The free market is the only realistic and effective oversight. But when we allow govt entities like Greenspan to artificially lower lending rates we distort the reality of the market.

    In the name of equality, we create bubbles in the economy that eventually go pop.

  8. Lucky Duck

    Censored, I never had a “no-doc” or a “ninja (no income, no job, no assets)” loan to “take advantage” of liberal financing. Buyer beware to certain extent. Shame on the brokers/bankers.

    When I bought a home, I had to put down 20% in cash and had to make sure that my house payment did not exceed 28% of my gross income. THAT was financing, not the sham that happened over the last eight years. I would think $395,000 for an 1800 sq foot three bedroom, one bath home would price a recent arrival with a lower/middle class job out of the this market. So they should have done what others did when they could not afford Prince William – move further south. The broker and banker should have realized that the ARM would evenually force the owner out of the house but the onus is on the buyer too. A little personal responsibility on ALL sides would have greatly helped out. I don’t think anyone is completely innocent in this fiasco, but some are more guilty than others.

  9. Lucky Duck

    Sorry, that was a 1200 sq foot home.

  10. NotGregLetiecq

    There is a lot of resentment to go around with the home foreclosure crisis, now dwarfed by the bank lending crisis where banks are afraid to loan money to each other and to businesses. These two things are completely independent of each other, by the way.

    When people seek to simplify our problems by blaming poor people or people of color, they blind themselves and unfortunately others to the real solutions. When we are blinded by blame and anger, and when this is exacerbated by throwing race into the equation, we will see opposition to solutions and results, even if the alternative means we all go down together.

    I hope we can work through these “woeful economic times” without doing too much blaming, particularly on ethnic lines. I just don’t see the advantage in it.

  11. Lucky Duck

    NGL, I am not laying blame on anyone in particular. I think ALL parties shared the blame and that should be recognized so we do not make the same mistakes in the future. Both the buyers and sellers share the blame in this mess and those still living in the aftermath are left to clean it up.

    There should be safeguards for a buyer coming into the area and there should be regulations for brokers and bankers to operate. The buyer has a responsibility make sure they can afford a mortgage and the lender has an obligation to make sure the buyer is qualified.

    By the way, there IS a relationship between the homeforeclosure crisis and the bank lending crisis. There are some banks that have bought and sold bad mortgage loans and are going broke. The banks that did not particpate in such funding schemes and scams are afraid to loan to other banks because they don’t know who is the next one to go belly up. There is a definite relationship between the two. One caused the other.

  12. Censored bybvbl

    Luck Duck, my husband and I are conservative in our borrowing also and turned down the “good” offers thrown our way by our bank when we remodelled our house four years ago. When you looked at the mean PWC family income and the selling price of the average new single family house in this county, you knew something (surprise – the financing) was flukey. There was no way that the average buyer was spending only 28% of (or two and a half times) his annual income to buy that house.

  13. Lucky Duck

    Censored, you made my point for me. You did the responsible thing. Others should have also.

  14. Red Dawn

    Open question to everyone: What is your take on people like Alex Jones?

  15. Moon-howler

    Another part of the problem as far as the housing crisis goes is that the average person who wasnt in the industry (real estate, title, or mortgage) who wasn’t buying or selling a house didn’t know all this crap was going on.

    All we knew is our house values were rising as were our real estate assessments and that more and more people wanted to lend money. I am still getting offers, although they are not coming in at the past speed. The offers were a pain in the tail. All those offers had to be shredded.

  16. NotGregLetiecq

    Your are right, Lucky Duck. Home foreclosures are related to the lending freeze. I am just saying we may not be well served by the “who is the villain” approach now that the election is over and its time to find solutions.

    Unfortunately too many law makers and pundits are placing blame on poor people, and implicitly or explicitly, people of color. What is the purpose? I think this is partisan spin, claiming the bipartisan goal of making home ownership more affordable was a scam perpetrated on white people. This strategy intends to divide and conquer by exploiting ethnic tension. If enough people can be convinced they should blame the economic crisis on the poor, the resulting anger can be harvested for electoral exploitation.

    In difficult times, the blame game can be retrofitted to preexisting fears and resentments. There are a lot of people who see government itself as a scam perpetrated on white people, on behalf of ethnic minorities (this depends on the bizzare assumption that all whites are wealthy.). I felt this was the subtext of the “redistributionist” argument McCain was going for. A lot of the people getting all hateful about “socialism” were actually poor whites, but they somehow were confusing the idea of white privilege (which they believed they enjoyed) with economic advantages they did not enjoy. Both economic and cultural anxiety feed each other if certain people are effectively blamed. That’s why we kept hearing Republican TV and radio talkers saying the economic crisis was caused by poor people trying to own homes.

    By contrast, my tendency is to blame rich and powerful people for the nation’s economic ills, for the simple fact that the rich and powerful are the ones making the decisions. My pet peeve is lobbyists, so I to blame the fat cats instead of poor, the ones who can afford to hire lobbyists to push for deregulation.

    If anyone wants to hear my limited understanding of how deregulation and “credit default swaps” are the real culprits in the credit freeze, I can make a good case for blaming rich people rather than poor people. But what good is it to afix blame anyway?

  17. Elena

    Very thoughtful post, thank you, for what I believe, is a very cogent explanation of the the housing crisis.

  18. michael

    The bottom line is, the people who defaulted most were people who could afford homes the least (ergo the housing bust and our current economic depression was “caused” by overzealous poor people, defaulting on their loans). The demographics of those poor people also show most to be first time home buyers and corresponds with a massive influx of “new” population growth into the country in the past 25 years, much of it “illegally (some 40-50 million people over 25 years) . This creates demand, and a “bubble”. The fat cats, ideologically want everyone to have a home, so they cut corners with regulations and truth in reporting laws (and lack of prosecution of those who report unlawfully). They created new 8A “protected class laws, benefiting only specific ethnic groups”, and those laws had serious flaws, the most serious being the result of “fraud” and “defaulting on specialized loans”. The greed and lack of securities regulation only came into play when the “risk” analysis of those assumed “low risk” loans were actually “extremely high risk loans”, and the regulatory oversight never saw it coming, until greed had already made the debaucle a reality that was irreversable (seriously overinflated loan values and profits with incredibly high risk from a population segment of incredibly high risk for default and bankruptcy.)”

    We reap what we sow. There is no excuse for it, and no one deserves sympathy for such action and lack of accountability, from the top to the bottom.

  19. michael

    You can’t blame just the rich, the blame lies at all levels of the participants involved. The “innocents” hurt by all of this that DO DESERVE YOUR SYMPATHY are those people who paid their mortgages, lived within their means, and followed the law.

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