HUD requires that all Community Development Block Grant recipients conduct analyses to identify barriers to fair housing and offer strategies for overcoming the barriers. Members of both of the councils working together with other organizations, including the Equal Rights Center, an umbrella organization for several equal rights groups, collected fair housing information in their respective jurisdictions to complete the metropolitan areas "Regional Analysis of Impediments to the Fair Housing Choice" report.
Over a period of three years, fair housing investigators traveled throughout the D.C. metropolitan area documenting violations in rental, sales and lending practices. Their research uncovered some disturbing evidence of unethical business practices, particularly alleged violations by Capitol Cities Mortgage Company.
Capitol Cities Mortgage Company solicited loans from African-Americans at churches and other community gathering spots in northeast and southeast DC. The company, apparently expecting that most loans would end in foreclosure, approved them with the evident intention of making a profit by auctioning foreclosed homes at prices higher than the remaining amount on the lending notes. However, the companys business practice did not go unnoticed. Capitol Cities Mortgage Company is currently facing a lawsuit filed jointly by the Fair Housing Coalition and the Federal Trade Commission.
The collaborative effort on the part of the two councils not only highlighted unethical business deals, but it also created the funding needed to conduct the regional analysis. By working together, the various municipalities were able to pool their monetary and staff resources to conduct the research needed for the fair housing impediments report.
Content Archived: April 20, 2011