Archive for the ‘Housing’ Category

Foreclosures in CA hit #latino #hispanic homes hardest

Wednesday, August 18th, 2010

(San Francisco Chronicle) A review of the damage wreaked on California communities by the housing bust shows that Latino households suffered nearly 50 percent of the foreclosures and that loan defaults are concentrated in the state’s Central Valley.

That area, which includes the Sacramento and San Joaquin valleys, features six of the top 10 California metro areas for foreclosure concentrations, according to the Center for Responsible Lending, which released a comprehensive report Tuesday.

No California communities have experienced a higher percentage of defaults than Modesto, Merced and Stockton – each of which had a foreclosure percentage of around 16 percent between late 2006 and 2009, the study found.

Full story…

#Housing bias in black and white: Andrew Cuomo targets #discrimination that’s still rampant in N.Y.

Sunday, July 11th, 2010

(NY Daily News) “Discrimination is alive and well in America today,” Cuomo (above) said at a press conference Tuesday announcing lawsuits against landlords in Brooklyn and upstate Schenectady County.

(Full disclosure: My wife, Juanita Scarlett, works for the attorney general.)

“In life and society, you will never solve a problem you’re unwilling to admit,” Cuomo said. “We don’t want to admit that we discriminate.”

That’s putting it mildly. Few areas of city life are as shrouded in denial and hypocrisy as the welter of public and private mechanisms that keep New York divided.

Landlords, real estate agents and management companies still steer applicants into white, black or Latino enclaves – all in violation of the law.

Single women and young parents are often told that a building doesn’t want to rent to families with children. That’s illegal, too, under federal, state and local housing laws.

Full story…

Wells Fargo’s Subprime Exit Closes a Sorry Chapter in Its History. #africanamerican #hispanic

Friday, July 9th, 2010

(Daily Finance) Wells Fargo’s (WFC) announcement earlier this week that it’s exiting the subprime mortgage business is economically sensible for the bank, given that today’s far more restrictive credit requirements pretty much put an end to subprime mortgages. It also closes a very dark chapter in Wells Fargo’s history.

Wells Fargo is one of the nation’s largest banks, but it’s had a questionable record with lending to the black and Hispanic community.

As former Wells Fargo loan officer Beth Jacobson told The New York Times in June 2009, Wells Fargo singled out blacks in Baltimore and suburban Maryland for high-interest subprime mortgages. Jacobson and another former Wells Fargo loan officer said in an affidavit that the bank’s employees referred to blacks as “mud people” and to subprime lending as “ghetto loans.”

Full story…

Illinois sues Countrywide over subprime loans. #africanamerican #hispanic #realestate

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

(Chicago Tribune) The state of Illinois sued former mortgage giant Countrywide Financial Corp. on Tuesday for allegedly using discriminatory lending practices for minority borrowers.

The lawsuit, filed in Cook County Circuit Court by Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, said an investigation revealed that African-American and Latino borrowers were much more likely to be given risky subprime loans by the lender than similarly situated whites from 2005 to 2007.

The lawsuit also alleged that a statistical analysis revealed that the company charged Latino and African-American borrowers more interest and fees on certain mortgages than whites.

Countrywide Financial, which was the largest mortgage lender in Illinois from 2004 to 2006, is now a subsidiary of Bank of America.

Full story…

US town votes on plan to ban foreigners renting homes or having jobs. #hispanic

Monday, June 21st, 2010

(Guardian) A Nebraska town, angry over a surge in the number of Hispanic residents, is voting today in a referendum on a new law that would require foreign nationals to get a licence to live in the town.

The referendum in Fremont has been prompted by a sharp rise in Hispanic people drawn by work at local meatpacking plants combined with fears over job losses and demand placed on the town’s social services because of the economic downturn.

If approved, tenants who are not US-citizens would be required to get an “occupancy licence” from the city council. Even residents of nursing homes would be required to obtain such a licence.

Federal law requires employers to verify the immigration status of workers but the proposed Fremont law would also open violators to local sanctions. Supporters insist it is not racist and is essential to protect jobs, healthcare and education for local people because the town’s Hispanic population has surged from 165 to more than 2,000 in the past 20 years.

Full story…

Foreclosure crisis hits #minorities harder. #africanamerican #hispanic #housing

Saturday, June 19th, 2010

(CNN Money) The mortgage meltdown is hitting the African-American and Latino communities harder than whites, a new study has found.

Of borrowers who took out mortgages between 2005 and 2008, some 8% of both African-American and Latino borrowers have lost their homes to foreclosure, compared to 4.5% of non-Hispanic whites, according to a study by the Center for Responsible Lending, released Friday.

The racial and ethnic disparities continued even after controlling for income differences. The center’s research shows that African-American and Latino borrowers were about 30% more likely to get higher-rate subprime loans than white borrowers with similiar risk characteristics.

Of the total pool of homeowners, 17% of Latinos have lost their homes to foreclosure or are at imminent risk of losing their homes, while 11% of African-Americans are in that position. By comparison, 7% of non-Hispanic whites have lost their homes or are about to.

Full story…

Report: Rate of #housing #discrimination high among #Asians

Thursday, June 3rd, 2010

(Asian Journal) Officials from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) are urging members of the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community to report housing and lending discrimination against them.

According to the HUD, the rate of housing discrimination against members of the AAPIcommunity is comparable to that experienced of other minority groups like Hispanics and African Americans, however, only 1 percent of AAPI’s filed a complaint to the HUD. John Trasvina, the assistant secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, said it’s important for members of the AAPIcommunity to report such discrimination if they believe it is happening to them.

“As we mentioned, the level and type of discrimination against Asians in buying and lending is comparable to that of other [minority] races but it is often unspoken, unsaid and it is unaddressed,” said Trasvina during a press conference at the HUD office in Downtown Los Angeles.

Full story…

Rental market wired for housing #discrimination

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

(Boston Herald) It helps to be white if you are trying to rent in Boston. At least those who advertise apartments on Craigslist clearly prefer to rent to white rather than to African-American or Hispanic households.

According to real estate industry sources and a 2010 survey by the Pew Research Center, more than half of all homeseekers today utilize the Internet in their search for housing with Craigslist being the primary search engine. Between January and May of 2009 we submitted responses to a representative sample of 739 housing providers who advertised rental units on Craigslist in metro Boston. Each provider received similar e-mail responses from three equally qualified “testers” – one with a white sounding name (Matthew O’Brien or Neil Baker); one with an African-American sounding name (Tremayne Robinson or Tyrone Jackson); and one with a Hispanic sounding name (Pedro Gonzales or Jorge Rodriguez). (We also tested 726 housing providers in Dallas with similar results.)

The discrimination was not the overt, explicit, door-slamming type common a few decades ago. But though more subtle, it was clear. Initially most of the testers appeared to be treated similarly. But as we moved deeper into the search process the disparities grew.

Full story…

‘Caucasian Only’ Ad in Massachusetts Newspaper. #housing #discrimination

Sunday, May 30th, 2010

(FoxNews) The Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination is investigating a racially charged advertisement that was in a local newspaper.

The ad announcing land for sale appeared in the New Bedford Standard-Times recently and was placed by Harmon Law Office in Newton, MyFoxBoston reports.

The advertisement stated that the land “…shall not be sold, leased or rented to any person other than of the Caucasian race or to any entity of which any person other than of said race shall be a member, stockholder, officer or director.”

“Such restrictive covenants have long been deemed unlawful and unenforceable under Massachusetts statute, and conveyance of any such deed is expressly prohibited under Massachusetts anti-discrimination law,” said MCAD Chairman and Commissioner Malcolm Medley. “Advertising such a sale may also be unlawful under the statute. Our obligation is to investigate this matter to determine whether a violation of law has occurred.”

Full story…

Rand Paul Taking Heat for #CivilRights Act Comments.

Thursday, May 20th, 2010

(Wall Street Journal) Now that he’s the Kentucky Republican Senate nominee Rand Paul is facing increased scrutiny for statements he’s made regarding the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

In a handful of media interviews, most recently on MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show” Wednesday evening, Paul would not commit to a firm yes-or-no answer when asked when he would have voted for the landmark legislation.

Paul has contended that while the legislation was correct in ending racial discrimination, he’s turned the question into a philosophical one over whether or not the federal government should be able to intrude on how a private business conducts itself. That may work well in the classroom, but it’s a tricky position to take as a political candidate on national television.

Full story…

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