Policy Round Up: Housing
Shanel Adams is an editorial assistant with GlobalPolicy.tv. She is a public relations major, political science minor at Howard University originally from Detroit. Shanel is passionate about poverty alleviation and political participation.
As the nation sees improvements in the housing industry, some have noticed communities of color left out. The monitor for the 2009 fair housing settlement in Westchester is currently studying data to determine if the county’s zones excludes Blacks and Hispanics.
With housing being such an integral part of American life, experts want to make sure minorities are included in the industry’s improvements.
Janet Murguia, Marc Morial, and Lisa Hasegawa discuss the mortgage settlement’s lack of implementation in communities of color:
“When announced last year, the $25 billion agreement held promise that families across the country would see relief. Indeed, it was a major victory for struggling homeowners who had fallen victim to predatory lending and wrongful foreclosures. But one year later, the gaps in the implementation of the settlement are becoming clear.
Although the servicers have extinguished many second liens, which will help stabilize some households, serious concerns remain about the large number of short sales being credited as principal reduction. Short sales are not a home-saving solution and fall short of our expectations of the settlement.”
Read the full article in The National Journal.
Michael Soon Lee offers insight about discriminatory actions by realtors preventing fair housing:
“Multicultural people in America are a large and rapidly-growing market. Over one-third of all Americans are minorities and by 2050 the U.S. Census Bureau estimates that they will be the majority. These could be your clients if you have received training about how to meet the unique needs of Hispanics, African Americans, Asians, Middle Easterners and others. Unfortunately, in the first 30 seconds most REALTORS will unintentionally insult a multicultural customer at least three times in the first thirty seconds.”
Read the full article in Ohio Realtors: Our Daily Buzz.
Jon Prior suggests that housing is the reason behind the racial wealth gap:
“Pew defined household wealth as the amount of assets minus the sum of debt owed. Researchers said the housing bubble bust in 2006 and the recession that followed had a harsher impact on minorities than whites. From 2005 to 2009, median wealth dropped 66% among Hispanics and 53% among blacks, compared to 16% from whites, according to the data. It is the largest wealth gap between minorities and whites since the government began tracking the data more than a quarter-century ago.”
Read the full article in Housing Wire.