Philly Foreclosure Maintenance Differs By Neighborhood Racial Makeup
The National Fair Housing Alliance released a new report yesterday, detailing banks’ maintenance of 1,000 foreclosed homes in nine metro areas across the country—including Philadelphia (h/t Keystone POLITICS). What they found was…was it surprising? Probably not, but here it is: “Properties in predominately black and Latino neighborhoods were far more likely than those in predominately white areas to be left in disrepair, with maintenance problems such as broken or boarded-up windows, unkempt yards, water damage and unsecured entrances. In addition, foreclosed properties in minority neighborhoods were routinely less likely to have for-sale signs than those in white communities.”
In other words, they found banks were more likely to let Black and Latino neighborhoods, on a national scale, go to hell.
Within the report, it’s noted that within Philadelphia, “more than 10 distinct maintenance or marketing problems were documented in 41 percent of homes in African American communities”—while a whopping zero percent of properties in white communities had the same number or problems.
Further, the report noted a lack of maintenance is especially a problem in places like Philadelphia and Baltimore, Maryland, where rowhomes are the predominant method of living. Many of the homes in Philly were found to have squatters living in them: “Unauthorized occupancy of an REO property can leave the property and surrounding community more susceptible to crime and public safety and health hazards. Both homes also had overgrown shrubbery and pervasive trash, indicating they had not been maintained in quite some time,” reads the report.
According to Think Progress, “The report is the latest sign of discrimination on the part of big banks when it comes to America’s housing market.” They note earlier reports, including one by the Center on Responsible Lending, found that Blacks and Latinos were “twice as likely to have been affected by the housing crisis, largely because an industry that has become infamous for its predatory lending practices was even more predatory when dealing with black and Latino borrowers.”
One thing the report doesn’t do: Name the banks which owned the properties. Check out the whole thing here.