Print & Online Coverage

Biden seeks spending spree on affordable housing (The Hill)

April 9, 2021

President Biden is proposing a massive investment in affordable housing through his infrastructure plan as the coronavirus pandemic pushes home prices to record highs.

Housing isn’t a marquee part of the $2.5 trillion proposal Biden unveiled last week, dubbed the American Jobs Plan, as the next step of his economic recovery agenda.

The measure, however, would spend four times the entire Department of Housing and Urban Development’s 2020 budget on a range of programs meant to fight a housing shortage exacerbated by the pandemic. Click here to read more.

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.

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.

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.

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.