Print & Online Coverage

Nissan Is Going To Pay Dealers More To Steer Customers Toward 84 Or 96-Month Loans (Jalopnik)

April 7, 2021

First, Nissan doubles down on subprime lending. Now it’s willing to pay dealers more money when customers take out longer terms. This is the new plan Nissan has laid out for dealers, according to a report from Cars Direct. Click here to read more.

Why Mortgage Credit Scores Are Little Known and Often Low (Consumer Reports)

March 27, 2021

Because a house is usually a family’s biggest financial commitment, the mortgage score is one of the most important. It helps determine whether you qualify for a home loan and what rate you pay… Unlike most of your credit scores, the mortgage score is based on a formula that hasn’t changed much in two decades… The problem with the old formula is that it doesn’t reflect some of the more consumer-friendly changes that have been introduced in the new formulas for other credit scores. Read more here.

Black Homes Are Flooding Due to Racist Policies, Says Company Being Sued for Those Policies (Vice)

March 18, 2021

A new study from the real estate company Redfin shows how racist housing policies have made Black neighborhoods more vulnerable to flooding than white ones. Meanwhile, Redfin is accused of helping keep those same neighborhoods segregated. Click here to read more.

Challenging discrimination when purchasing a home (The Washington Post)

March 18, 2021

A decade ago, George Willborn, a Black radio personality and comedian, reached a tentative deal to buy a $1.7 million, 8,000-square-foot house in Chicago’s Bridgeport neighborhood.

But the White sellers refused to sign the contract, he said, even though Willborn had made the highest offer. Click here to read more.

Redfin: Former redlined neighborhoods at massive flood risk (HousingWire)

March 15, 2021

A new Redfin report details how Americans – many of whom are people of color – living in formerly redlined neighborhoods are more likely to see their homes jeopardized by water damage. Click here to read more.

American Rescue Plan Act legislation is a big deal for Fort Bend County. Here’s where local leaders say the money will go: (Houston Chronicle)

March 12, 2021

The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, signed into law by President Joe Biden on Thursday, has allocated $1.9 trillion in COVID-19 relief aid, much of which will be handed directly to state and local authorities to bring swift aid to municipalities and school districts. Click here to read more.

How Credit Scores Rule — & Ruin — Our Lives (Refinery29)

March 15, 2021

The idea of credit is simple — and old. You want something that you can’t offer anything for at the moment, so you work something out with the vendor. You’ll take the item now, but reimburse them, plus a little extra for their trouble, at a later date. 

In centuries past, these interactions might have been done in various ways, including bartering; more recently, credit was often contingent on knowing who it was that a person was effectively borrowing from, adding a layer of the personal to a professional interaction. Today, consumer credit is a titanic industry, complete with products and services marketed and sold for impressive profit — it’s a far cry from the relationship you have with your neighbor who owns the local grocery store. And whether or not you’re considered a viable credit risk has nothing to do with your long-standing relationship with that grocery store-owning neighbor, but is rather based on an inscrutable mix of credit-reporting algorithms. No wonder the most common reaction we have about our credit score is: “Why?” Click here to read more.

Marcia Fudge confirmed as first Black woman to lead HUD in more than 40 years (The Washington Post)

March 10, 2021

The Senate voted 66-34 on Wednesday to confirm President Biden’s nomination of Rep. Marcia L. Fudge (D-Ohio) as secretary of housing and urban development, making her the first Black woman to lead the agency in more than four decades. Click here to read more.

Marcia Fudge has ambitious plans for HUD — even though she didn’t want the job. (Politico)

March 10, 2021

If Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio) is confirmed as housing Secretary on Wednesday as expected, she’ll be confronting a cascade of crises: millions of people facing eviction amid a pandemic, a rise in homelessness, soaring housing prices worsening a years-long affordable housing crunch.

But when Fudge reports for work at the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Brutalist headquarters in Southwest D.C. — what her predecessor Ben Carson called the “ugliest building” in the city — she’ll also be taking over an agency that is itself in crisis. Click here to read more.

Counties: Undercover testing to fight housing discrimination still in works (Newsday)

February 28, 2021

Nassau and Suffolk counties — as part of housing reform initiatives — have added staff to investigate and litigate discrimination complaints and established public education workshops, but they have not included what some experts said is a critical element: an undercover testing program.

Lisa Rice, president and chief executive of the National Fair Housing Alliance in Washington, D.C., said a “robust” fair housing program needs several elements, including testing, at all levels of government. She said testing is “one of the main pillars” of strong fair housing enforcement. Read more here.

America’s racist housing rules really can be fixed (Vox)

February 17, 2021

This is the fourth time Kennetha has been homeless.

She and her husband have five kids, the youngest of whom is just 8. They’ve been threatened with truancy for keeping their cameras off during remote learning — a grace they hoped would spare themselves some privacy over their living situation. At 37, Kennetha is haunted by an unfinished bachelor’s degree that has left her nothing but debt. Digging herself out of a financial hole has felt like a full-time job. Being without a stable home doesn’t help. Click here to read more.

Biden Administration Green Lights End to LGBTQ Housing Discrimination (The Davis Vanguard)

February 13, 2021

Despite the progress made from the Fair Housing Act of 1968, housing has yet to be treated as a human right – and U.S. discriminatory practices in housing continue to create barriers for marginalized groups in this country who desire to have a place where they can thrive and feel safe.

In a move that supports housing rights for all, the Biden-Harris administration this week announced that the Fair Housing Act will be enforced in cases on housing discrimination based on sexual orientation and identity. Click here to read more.

Housing, civil rights groups ask Congress for $25B (HousingWire)

February 9, 2021

A large partnership of housing and civil rights organizations reached out on Monday to congressional leaders advocating for further relief for homeowners in the next COVID-19 stimulus package. Click here to read more.

Laying a foundation for opportunity with affordable housing (The Washington Post)

February 9, 2021

When Carlyle Smith moved from Florida to Washington, D.C. in 2011 for a job opportunity, he was determined to make the city his new home. But after five years, a series of health challenges had put him behind on his bills, and he found himself moving between homeless shelters and sleeping on floors. Click here to read more.

After a campaign full of questions, advancing racial equality has been a foundation of Biden’s presidency so far (The Washington Post)

February 4, 2021

Throughout the Democratic presidential primary, Joe Biden faced criticism from opponents over his record on policies affecting Black Americans, and his habit of making gaffes when talking about Black people reared its head a few times. All the while, he was vocal about wanting to pursue racial justice for Black Americans and was the clear front-runner all along. Read more here.

We must increase access to affordable mortgages for minority borrowers (The Hill)

January 30, 2021

Homeownership has been on the rise over the past few years even during the COVID-19 pandemic, but a deeper look at who is able to become a homeowner reveals significant racial and economic gaps. With a growing recognition in Washington of this disparity and a renewed focus on increasing financial security for Black and Hispanic families, policymakers and industry have the opportunity to correct inequities and sustainably increase minority homeownership. Read more here.

The Pros and Cons of Writing a Love Letter to a Home Seller (Money)

January 28, 2021

Home may be where the heart is, but playing with a seller’s emotions could lead to trouble.

In competitive housing markets, agents sometimes encourage buyers to write “love letters” in hopes of swaying the seller to choose their bid. But experts are increasingly warning that these missives could lead to discrimination. Click here to read more.

Executive order addressing fair housing could benefit Memphis (Fox 13)

January 26, 2021

The Memphis Director of Housing and Community Development believes the president’s executive order is a step in the right direction.

Director Paul Young said housing problems are nothing new to Memphis but now is the time to change it. Click here to read more.

Biden continues push to put racial equity at the forefront (CNN)

January 26, 2021

Nearly a week into his administration, President Joe Biden is focused on creating a path toward equity after inheriting a deeply divided nation.

After picking the most racially diverse Cabinet in US history, Biden jump-started his efforts by proposing a sweeping immigration overhaul, disbanding the 1776 commission and reversing a Trump-era ban on most transgender Americans joining the military. Click here to read more.

Consumer advocates push President Biden in his first 100 days (The Philadelphia Tribune)

January 25, 2021

 As President Joe Biden begins his term of office, the nation and much of the world are waiting and watching to see how his promises become policies and practices that relieve long-term and widespread suffering. Click here to read more.