Print & Online Coverage

California Aims to Eliminate Bias in Artificial Intelligence (Governing)

June 10, 2021

A new bill would require AI developers to evaluate privacy risks, assess the potential for discriminatory decisions and the state’s Department of Technology would need to approve the software before its use in the public sector. Click here to read more.

HUD to reinstate Obama-era fair housing rule gutted under Trump — minus the ‘burdensome’ reporting requirement (The Washington Post)

June 9, 2021

Nearly a year after the Trump administration replaced an Obama-era fair housing rule that critics decried as “burdensome” and that President Donald Trump alleged would “abolish” suburbs, President Biden’s housing department is restoring the requirement that communities take steps to reduce racial segregation or risk losing federal funds. Click here to read more.

‘Unprecedented’ Indiana housing market leads to concern over FHA buyers being pushed out (CBS 4 Indianapolis)

June 8, 2021

In a housing market with high demand and the lowest inventory in almost 15 years, fair housing experts expressed worry that some buyers’ loan type is keeping them from competing for homes. Click here to read more.

Racial Equity Rises to the Top at Nationwide (Columbus Monthly)

June 2, 2021

George Floyd’s killing sparked a trend in corporate giving.

In the immediate aftermath of the 46-year-old Black man’s death under the knee of a white Minneapolis police officer and the worldwide protests that followed, Columbus-based Nationwide announced in June a $1 million, multiyear commitment to support organizations that combat racism and promote economic empowerment. The company is one of several with large Central Ohio footprints—including JPMorgan Chase, KeyBank and CVS Health—that have recently announced major contributions to social justice causes. Click here to read more.

Loan preference is shutting some FHA-backed buyers out of Philly area’s hot housing market (The Philadelphia Inquirer)

May 24, 2021

Norma Eason always wanted to buy a home and believed that, now, she was ready.

The 31-year-old bolstered her savings and researched home buying. Eason, a custodian at the University of Pennsylvania, and her husband, who works in construction, got preapproved for a loan backed by the Federal Housing Administration. They started their search in March for a place for them and their four young children. Read more here.

Is 2021 the YIMBY Movement’s Time to Shine on Capitol Hill? (Reason)

May 17, 2021

The YIMBY movement isn’t quite a high-density household name yet. But its focus on peeling back government regulations on new development is starting to make a bipartisan splash on Capitol Hill.

Last week, Sens. Todd Young (R–Indiana) and Brian Schatz (D–Hawaii) reintroduced the Yes In My Backyard (YIMBY) Act, a law aimed at pruning back red tape in states and localities that receive certain federal housing grants. “Discriminatory local zoning and land use policies drive up housing costs in communities across America,” said Young in a press release. “My legislation will require cities, towns, and rural areas across America to face this reality under a new level of transparency and encourage them to cut these harmful regulations.” Click here to read more.

Biden targets housing rules that hurt low-income earners. Will the suburbs buy in? (LA Times)

May 19, 2021

The enduring image of the American Dream is owning a tidy single-family house behind a white picket fence in the suburbs.

But for many people of color and low-income earners, that part of the American dream is fleeting, in part because of exclusionary zoning laws. Click here to read more.

Op-ed: From a longtime mayor: The root causes of what holds back Black and brown suburbs (Chicago Tribune)

May 14, 2021

During a recent panel discussion sponsored by the South Suburban Housing Center on the topic of “Reviving Hardest Hit Communities,” Lisa Rice, president of the National Fair Housing Alliance, made the comment that banks across the nation seem to be closing branches in predominantly minority communities at a much higher rate than elsewhere. Read more here.

AI Lending Discrimination Needs To Be Tackled With Legislation Says House Financial Services Chair (Forbes)

May 7, 2021

Artificial Intelligence (AI) discrimination in lending needs to be tackled with legislation, House Financial Services Committee Chair Maxine Waters (D-CA) said today.

“We cannot wait for (federal financial regulatory agencies) to do better. We have to force better,” she told a Financial Services AI Task Force hearing. Click here to read more.

North suburban man’s COVID mortgage forbearance nightmare (Chicago Sun Times)

May 7, 2021

Like millions of homeowners, Gregg Pupecki of Beach Park accepted mortgage forbearance — an interest-free pause in his payments — during the coronavirus pandemic.

A first-time homeowner, Pupecki loves his two-story house, which he bought in 2012. So he paid attention when he got a notice from his loan servicer in February demanding an immediate payment of $12,475 “to bring your loan current.”

“Failure … may result in fees and the loss of your home due to foreclosure,” the document read. Click here to read more.

Homes in Black neighborhoods are valued less than similar homes in white areas (The Philadelphia Inquirer)

April 28, 2021

When Jillian White’s parents decided years ago to refinance their home in Westchester County, N.Y., they chose not to hide family photos, books, and other evidence they are Black ahead of the appraiser’s visit, despite knowing that appraisers’ racial bias has sometimes translated into lower home valuations. White, who runs the appraisal department at the New York-based Better Mortgage Corp., testified at a Philadelphia City Council committee hearing Monday that the appraiser undervalued the family’s house by $100,000, which she attributes to racial bias. Click here to read more.

Council considers racial bias in home appraisals (Philly Metro Newspaper)

April 26, 2021

Stories abound in the Black community about bias in the home appraisal process.

Some owners looking to refinance will take down family photos or remove books about race to “whiten” their house, and many have received low-balled valuations. Click here to read more.

Walter Mondale’s Decades-Long Crusade for Fair Housing and the Full Promise of Civil Rights (The Nation)

April 23, 2021

On April 5, 1968, the day after the assassination of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., one of the youngest members of the United States Senate took the floor of the chamber and declared, “The foremost proponent of a nonviolent confrontation between the races is dead. His generosity to the white man, his belief in the basic good will of all men, and his dramatic, nonviolent action enabled him to speak to both races,” declared Walter Mondale, a 40-year-old Democrat who had emerged as one of chamber’s most ardent advocates for civil right.

“In the days ahead, we must act to fulfill King’s dream,” said Mondale, who died Monday at age 93. Click here to read more.

Black homes undervalued by $45K compared to white counterparts (National Mortgage News)

April 20, 2021

The racial imbalance in home values have shown few signs of progress over the past eight years…

“In many instances, the policies in the marketplace today have a discriminatory effect and operate to entrench racial wealth and equity, limiting communities of color and other underserved communities from accessing credit and home equity,” Morgan Williams, general counsel at the National Fair Housing Alliance, said in an interview. “Those practices abuse the market in so many varied ways that addressing the problem will take dismantling the discrimination and bias in those various facets.”…

Passed down from now-illegal redlining practices, those undervaluations compound over time and perpetuate the racial wealth gap, which is expected to widen in the pandemic recovery. Click here to read more.

Trump gutted Obama-era housing discrimination rules. Biden’s bringing them back. (The Washington Post).

April 13, 2021

Housing Secretary Marcia L. Fudge moved this week to reinstate fair housing regulations that had been gutted under President Donald Trump, in one of the most tangible steps that the Biden administration has taken thus far to address systemic racism. Click here to read more.