Report Finds Discrimination in REO Marketing and Maintenance

Posted under Resources on April 15, 2012

From the National Fair Housing Alliance:

The National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA) and four of its local member organizations—the Miami Valley Fair Housing Center in Dayton, Ohio, Housing Opportunities Project for Excellence in Miami, Metro Fair Housing Services in Atlanta, and North Texas Fair Housing Center in Dallas—have released the results of an undercover investigation into the ways the nation’s financial institutions are failing to maintain and market real estate owned properties in African-American and Latino neighborhoods. The investigation of REO properties in nine major U.S. cities found striking incidents of discrimination in the care and maintenance of properties, with foreclosed properties in White areas being much better maintained and marketed than those in neighborhoods of color.

The report, The Banks Are Back, Our Neighborhoods Are Not: Discrimination in the Maintenance and Marketing of REO Properties, details the results of the evaluation of more than 1,000 REO properties located in and around Atlanta, GA; Baltimore; Dallas; Dayton, Ohio; Miami/Fort Lauderdale; Oakland/Richmond/Concord, Calif.; Philadelphia; Phoenix; and Washington, DC.

Some trends the investigation revealed include:

  • REO properties in communities of color were 82 percent more likely than REO properties in White communities to have broken or boarded windows;
  • REO properties in White neighborhoods were 32 percent more likely to be marketed with the proper signage than African-American neighborhoods and 38 percent more likely than in Latino neighborhoods; and
  • Newer homes generally scored higher than older homes, but racial and ethnic disparities persisted with non-structural factors such as curb appeal and signage.

Click here for the full report.