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HUD Archives: News Releases

HUD No. 97-207
Further Information:For Release
In the Washington, DC area: 202/708-1420Monday
Or contact your local HUD officeOctober 13, 1997


WASHINGTON -- Following up on President Clinton's pledge to crack down on housing discrimination across the nation, Housing Secretary Andrew Cuomo today announced the successful resolution of four complaints in Alabama, Pennsylvania, Arizona and California.

"At President Clinton's direction, the Department of Housing and Urban Development announced an intensified campaign against housing discrimination this month," Cuomo said. "Now we are following through on that commitment."

"We will not allow racism and bigotry to stop families across this nation from living in any home, in any apartment or in any neighborhood they can afford," Cuomo said. "Housing discrimination is an ugly part of America's past that has no place in our nation's present or future."

Cuomo announced the following enforcement agreements were obtained by HUD after individuals filed complaints alleging violations of the Fair Housing Act:

  • Chilton Realty in Maplesville, AL, agreed to pay $5,000 to Patricia Wilson, who is black. Wilson filed a complaint after a real estate agent asked her race when Wilson called to inquire about buying a home.

  • First Union Corporation in Roslyn, PA agreed to pay Reed and Cora Brown, a black couple, $10,000. The couple filed a complaint when the First Fidelity Bank -- which was later purchased by First Union -- refused to allow them to submit a mortgage application and referred them to another lender that specializes in offering costly loans to homeowners with bad credit. The Browns had a good credit record.

  • Aames Home Loan of Phoenix, AZ agreed to pay Consuelo Salas $4,000. Salas filed a complaint accusing the lender of charging her additional fees for her mortgage because she is Hispanic. The lender also agreed to train all employees in civil rights, and review all policies and practices to insure that they are non-discriminatory.

  • Associates Financial Services of Los Angeles, CA agreed to pay Johnnie Meadows $3,000. Meadows filed a complaint accusing the lender of charging him an excessively high interest rate on a loan to repair earthquake damage to his home, because his home is located in a mostly black neighborhood. Associates also agreed to work with the National Foundation for Consumer credit to provide counseling and intervention to Los Angeles homeowners in danger of foreclosure.

Enforcement agreements are reached by negotiation between HUD and the parties to a fair housing complaint. The terms of these agreements are enforced by the Department of Justice.

The Fair Housing Act bars housing discrimination on account of race, color, religion, sex, disability, family status and national origin.

The act covers the sale, rental, financing and advertising of almost all housing in the nation. Fair housing investigations are conducted by HUD investigators, state and city agencies working with HUD, and private fair housing groups that receive HUD funds.

"Many victims of housing discrimination don't realize they've been discriminated against, and many people are unfamiliar with the Fair Housing Act," Cuomo said. "We want to alert people that HUD, fair housing groups and state and local agencies will work to make sure their legal right to be free from discrimination is enforced."

People who believe they have been harmed by housing discrimination can file complaints with HUD. HUD operates a toll-free national hotline to take complaints, in both English and Spanish, at 1-800-669-9777.

Cuomo said the new crackdown will further President Clinton's goal of boosting the minority homeownership rate, by removing barriers of prejudice that act as a roadblock to minority homeownership.


Content Archived: January 20, 2009

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