Wells Fargo Sued for Allowing Foreclosed Homes in Non-White Areas to Fall into Disrepair
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Housing advocates have filed complaints against two national banks for allegedly allowing foreclosed homes in black and Latino neighborhoods to fall into disrepair, while at the same time taking better care of bank-owned houses in predominantly white areas.
The two banks, Wells Fargo and U.S. Bank, must now answer to the Department of Housing and Urban Development, which received the complaint from the National Fair Housing Alliance, a non-profit group.
The complaint against Wells Fargo says many of the bank’s homes in minority neighborhoods have garbage outside them as well as broken doors and windows.
The National Fair Housing Alliance examined 218 homes owned by Wells Fargo in cities across the U.S., including Washington, DC, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Dallas, Miami and Atlanta. Of these, 99 were in predominantly African-American communities, 15 in predominantly Latino communities, 35 in majority non-White communities and 69 in predominantly White communities. Each property was evaluated for 37 factors in seven categories of maintenance: curb appeal, structure, signage and occupancy, paint and siding, gutters, water damage, and utilities.
In communities of color, 67% of properties had more than five maintenance or marketing deficiencies, while only 41% of properties in white communities did. Thirteen percent of properties in minority neighborhoods had more than ten maintenance or marketing deficiencies compared to just 7% in white neighborhoods.
-Noel Brinkerhoff, David Wallechinsky
To Learn More:
Big Banks Slack on Maintaining Foreclosed Homes in Minority Areas, Complaint Charges (by Cora Currier, ProPublica)
The Banks Are Back – Our Neighborhoods Are Not (National Fair Housing Alliance)
Fair Housing Complaint (pdf)
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