Fannie Mae’s failure to take care of its massive foreclosure inventory in African American and Latino neighborhoods further destabilizes the communities hardest hit by the foreclosure crisis.
WASHINGTON – May 13, 2015 – The National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA) and 19 local organizations filed a housing discrimination complaint with HUD against Fannie Mae, one of the largest owners of foreclosed homes in the United States.
The civil rights groups allege that Fannie Mae maintains and markets its foreclosures (also known as real estate owned or "REO" properties) in white neighborhoods consistently better than in middle- and working-class African American and Latino neighborhoods, a practice that violates the federal Fair Housing Act.
Of the 34 cities cited in the complaint, seven are in Florida, or about 20 percent. They include:
- Fort Lauderdale
- Miami Gardens
- West Palm Beach
"Fannie Mae's failure to take care of its massive foreclosure inventory in African American and Latino neighborhoods further destabilizes the communities hardest hit by the foreclosure crisis, in clear contradiction of its congressional charter, federal fair housing laws and its obligation to affirmatively further fair housing," says Shanna L. Smith, president and CEO of NFHA.
NFHA says it gathered evidence from 2010 through April 2015 that included 2,106 REO properties owned by Fannie Mae in 34 metropolitan areas including 129 cities.
NFHA says the group investigated the maintenance and marketing of REOs for 39 different types of deficiencies that affect home value, curb appeal, security and marketability. The deficiencies assessed by investigators include: broken, boarded or damaged windows and doors; unlocked doors and windows; damaged and obstructed gutters and downspouts; safety hazards; accumulated trash; overgrown lawns and shrubs; lack of "for sale" signs; and other things.
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