Fifty-one percent of Bank of America-owned homes in Milwaukee's communities of color had more than five maintenance or marketing problems, and 87 percent did not have a "for sale" sign.
"Neighbors living near Bank of America properties in African-American and Latino neighborhoods often report having to mow the lawn of the bank-owned home or clean up trash that has spilled onto nearby properties," said William Tisdale, President and CEO of the Metropolitan Milwaukee Fair Housing Council. "Without the intervention of these responsible neighbors, we can only venture to guess how much worse the bank-owned homes would look. Bank of America-owned homes are not only eyesores, but they are health and safety hazards for neighboring families and young children. Through these, and other numerous examples of inaction and neglect, Bank of America has played a major role in destabilizing our neighborhoods."
One hundred percent of Bank of America-owned homes in Indianapolis's communities of color had more than five maintenance or marketing problems, and 86 percent had more than 10 maintenance or marketing problems. Bank of America-owned homes in communities of color were also twice as likely to have broken doors or locks compared to similar homes in white areas.
"Fixing a broken lock is an easy job, but Bank of America is neglecting even this simple task in communities of color," said Amy Nelson, Executive Director of the Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana. "Why is Bank of America such as bad neighbor in so many neighborhoods of color?"
The National Fair Housing Alliance (www.nationalfairhousing.org)Founded in 1988, the National Fair Housing Alliance is a consortium of more than 220 private, non-profit fair housing organizations, state and local civil rights agencies, and individuals from throughout the United States. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the National Fair Housing Alliance, through comprehensive education, advocacy and enforcement programs, provides equal access to apartments, houses, mortgage loans and insurance policies for all residents in the nation.
Metropolitan Milwaukee Fair Housing Center (www.fairhousingwisconsin.com)The Metropolitan Milwaukee Fair Housing Council is a private non-profit organization that operates a full-service fair housing program. MMFHC serves Milwaukee, Washington, Waukesha, Ozaukee, Dane, Outagamie, Brown, Winnebago and Calumet Counties, and conducts out-of-service-area activities as well. The purpose of MMFHC is to promote fair housing throughout the State of Wisconsin by combating illegal housing discrimination and by creating and maintaining racially and economically integrated housing patterns.
South Suburban Housing Center (www.southsuburbanhousingcenter.org)The mission of the South Suburban Housing Center is the promotion and fostering of long-term diversity throughout all communities in Chicago's South and Southwestern suburbs in Cook County and in Will and Kankakee Counties by working to eliminate all forms of discrimination and exploitation in the housing markets including predatory lending and mortgage fraud.
HOPE Fair Housing Center (www.hopefair.org)Established in 1968, HOPE is the oldest fair housing center in Illinois. HOPE Fair Housing Center seeks to end the hurt and devastation of housing discrimination and segregation because of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability, familial status, or any other characteristics protected under state or local laws.
Fair Housing Center for Central Indiana (www.fhcci.org)The Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana (FHCCI) is a private, non-profit fair housing organization founded in 2011. Its mission is to eliminate housing discrimination, to ensure equal housing opportunity and promote neighborhood choice for all people, regardless of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, familial status or other characteristic protected under state or local law, primarily in Central Indiana and other areas in the region as needed, through leadership, education, outreach, advocacy and enforcement.
Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC (www.cohenmilstein.com)For over 40 years, Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC has been a pioneer in plaintiff class action lawsuits on behalf of victims of such abuses. As one of the premier firms in the country handling major complex class actions and impact litigation, Cohen Milstein, with more than 60 attorneys and offices in Washington, D.C., New York, Philadelphia, and Chicago, is a firm that specializes in cases concerning Civil Rights, Antitrust, Securities Fraud, Human Rights, Consumer Protection and Unsafe Products, Employee Benefits, Public Clients, and Whistleblowers. Cohen Milstein has earned its national and international reputation by winning cases that other law firms did not want to handle. The groundbreaking cases Cohen Milstein has litigated have resulted in landmark decisions on previously untried issues involving civil rights, price fixing, securities, and consumer rights.
Part of the work that provided the basis for this publication was supported by funding under a grant with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The substance and findings of the work are dedicated to the public. The author and publisher are solely responsible for the accuracy of the statements and interpretations contained in this publication. Such interpretations do not necessarily reflect the views of the Federal Government.National Fair Housing Alliance
Web site: http://www.nationalfairhousing.org/
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