“DREAM” DENIED. MINORITIES CONTINUE TO FACE DISCRIMINATION IN MORTGAGES, HOMES SHOWN

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The Westchester Human Rights Commission  panel on Fair Housing Monday night opened eyes.

WPCNR REALITY REALITYBy John F. Bailey, April 26, 2023:

 

A panel of real estate experts delivered  an assessment of discriminatory conditions minorities face today Monday night. In buying first homes, and second homes locally and nationwide the obstacles are deeprooted  a discussion sponsored by the Westchester County Human Rights Commission at the County Center made painfully clear.

BRYAN GREENE, Vice President of Policy Advocacy of the National Association of Realtors, DEBRA S, COHEN, Civil Rights Attorney and Professor of Law, and GREGORY JOOST, Researcher, Author and Professor of Sociology gave a general overview of the high standards that minorities face in buying that first home, and second homes compared to white people.

What became clear through the  hour before 35 persons was the lack of enforcement by government bureaucracies and lack of investigation studies by government agencies.

Local and state authorities are reluctant to investigate alleged discrimination. Ms. Cohen said the courts are an option, but the current political  sensitivity  and composition of courts make it difficult to produce  verdicts that find discrimination is evident.

The panel brought out that banks and credit ratings services discriminate by preconceived attitudes reflecting century old derogatory conceptions of  minority character. This centuries old perception of minorities results in a double standard,  giving lower credit scores to  minority applicants  than they do to whites. The credit ratings are defended by banks saying they have formulas.

BRYAN GREENE SAID STATE AND LOCAL ENFORCEMENT SHOULD STEP UP PROSECUTION OF ILLEGAL DISCRIMINATION PRACTICES, SINGLES OUT COLLEGE LOANS LOWERING HOME EQUITY PREVENTING MINORITIES FROM GETTING MAX  VALUE OUT OF  HOME THEY ARE TRYING TO SELL. CALLS FOR  COUPLE TESTS TO DISCOVER HOW REALTORS TREAT MINORITY COUPLES AND WHITE COUPLES DIFFERENTLY.

 

Even  If a minority owner of a home in an area wants to sell their home, they face lower assessments because they are minority owners than if a  white owner of the same house would for the same property, based on the neighborhood, Professor Cohen said.

Minority owners, who have purchased a first home face problems reselling a home they own, Professor Cohen related. She said minority owners have been known to make over  their home interiors removing any objects, decorations, photographs of their minority family.  White friends  are recruited by minority owners to be in the home when it is shown.

GREG JOOST (right) SUGGESTED LAND TRUSTS ACQUIRED BY CITIES, TOWNS COULD MAKE AVAILABLE HOMES MINORITIES COULD AFFORD–TELLING HOW THIS OCCURRED IN PRINCE GEORGES COUNTY, MARYLAN

CALL TO ACTION NOW FROM VICE PRESIDENT OF POLICY OF NATIONAL ASSOCIATION REALTORS TO ADDRESS THE DISCRIMINATION, RECOGNIZE THE WEALTH DISCREPANCIES, DISCRIMINATORY POLICIES AND REWARD DESERVING MINORITIES. HE TELLS WHY

The panel gave an overview of practices constricting minority home ownership, but stopped short of saying the practices were in Westchester County.

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