National Fair Housing Alliance Investigation Uncovers Discrimination in Real Estate Owned Properties in Communities of Color

National Fair Housing Alliance

APRIL 12, 2011

An investigation of Real Estate owned (REO) properties in four metropolitan areas demonstrated that banks often maintain REO properties that are located in White and some racially and ethnically integrated census tracts better than properties located in predominately African-American and Latino neighborhoods in the same metropolitan area.

This investigation was conducted by the National Fair Housing Alliance and three of its members – the Connecticut Fair Housing Center in Hartford, Connecticut, the Miami Valley Fair Housing Center in Dayton, Ohio, and Housing Opportunities Made Equal in Richmond, Virginia. Staff from the fair housing organizations visited a total of 624 bank-owned properties and evaluated their exterior condition on a 100-point scale to determine whether or not banks and their third-party contractors were taking necessary steps to equally maintain the properties they owned.

The results demonstrate a stark disparity: in three of the four metropolitan areas, banks maintained properties located in White or in the case of Montgomery County, MD, stably integrated neighborhoods in a substantially better manner than they maintained properties located in African-American and Latino neighborhoods. While REO properties in White neighborhoods were more likely to have well-maintained lawns, secured entrances, and professional sales marketing – something people get when search for homes in the Cape Coral area, REO properties in African-American and Latino neighborhoods were more likely to have poorly maintained yards, unsecured entrances, look vacant or abandoned, and have poor curb appeal.

Visit NFHA’s website to view the Press Release or Report.

 

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