If you thought housing discrimination was dead — you thought wrong.
According to HUD’s Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, housing discrimination is still alive and kicking. In 2014, HUD has handled discrimination cases dealing with
- Race/national Origin
- Maternity Lending
- Domestic Violence Survivors
- Families with Children
HUD’s Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity is working hard to combat unlawful housing discrimination. Of the 8,850 complaints that were received in Fiscal Year 2014, 8,281 were resolved, resulting in almost $33 million in compensation for victims and victims’ funds.
Julián Castro, Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, joined Roland Martin Friday on NewsOne Now to discuss HUD’s program to end housing discrimination and address the home foreclosure crisis wiping out 50 percent of Black wealth.
Castro told Martin, host of NewsOne Now, “Throughout American history, the creation of wealth has been tied in home ownership and that’s the American dream.”
“We have every interest in the Administration ensuring that folks can hold on to their homes and build that wealth over the last several years.”
“Particularly through the housing crisis, the Obama Administration invested in resources to ensure that folks could stay in their homes. That continues to this day and at HUD, we’ve taken on new programs like our Distressed Asset Sales Program, where lenders work with borrowers to try and keep them in their homes.”
“The goal is to ensure that communities stay whole and that the dream of home ownership is real for Americans.”
To prevent African-Americans and minorities from falling prey to predatory lending practices, Castro said there were a number of steps taken to “strengthen the rules of the road.” He highlighted the “Qualified Mortgage” as a way to dictate what loans are going to be “ensured and securitized.”
Castro also highlighted FHA loans as a vehicle for first-time homebuyers to have an opportunity to purchase a home and ensure the loan.
To combat housing discrimination, Castro said HUD’s Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity uses “testers that go out and test the market” to see what individuals may be doing to discriminate against minorities.
“Through our research we’ve found that renters who are African-American who call about listings are told about 12 percent fewer listings than the mainstream, than Whites. Latinos are usually told 11 percent less listings and Asian-Americans are told about 10 percent less listings.”
According to Castro, HUD has received over 40,000 complaints on various types of housing discrimination that has led to approximately $105 million in settlements.
Castro explained that not only are people being discriminated against along racial lines, but pregnant women, people with disabilities, domestic violence survivors, and families with children all have faced housing discrimination in this current age.
If you feel as though you have been discriminated against in your search for housing, please call HUD at (800) 669-97777, visit www.HUD.gov, or download the Housing Discrimination Complaint Application app.
Watch Roland Martin and HUD Secretary Julián Castro discuss the department of Housing and Urban Development combating housing discrimination in the video clip above.
Be sure to watch “NewsOne Now” with Roland Martin, weekdays at 9 a.m. EST on TV One.
Subscribe to the “NewsOne Now” Audio Podcast on iTunes.
SEE ALSO: 53 Percent Of Black Wealth Wiped Out: Foreclosure Crisis Erodes Communities Of Color