|HUD No. 00-89|
|Further Information:||For Release|
|In the Washington, DC area: 202/708-0685||4 p.m. Friday|
|Or contact your local HUD office||April 28, 2000|
DETROIT NAACP TO GIVE CUOMO FREEDOM AND JUSTICE AWARD
The Detroit chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People will honor U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Andrew Cuomo with this year's Freedom and Justice Award for his work in fighting housing discrimination.
"This award serves as a reminder that in the advent of the 21st century, we have made tremendous progress in opening the doors of homeownership to thousands of families across the country. Yet the more we move forward, the more we find that some things stay the same- hate and prejudice find new ways to express themselves," Cuomo said. "These are challenges that the nation must address."
The Freedom and Justice Award is given to an individual who has excelled in advancing the economic and social interest of underserved communities. The presentation of the award will be made this Sunday at the 45th Annual NAACP Fight for Freedom Dinner. President Clinton will be the keynote speaker at the dinner.
Last week, Cuomo was in Atlanta, co-chairing the first of six hearings that will be held around the country to address the growing problem of predatory lending. While expanded access to credit from lenders has contributed to the highest homeownership rates in the nation’s history, 67.1%, there is growing evidence that some lenders are engaging in predatory lending practices – excessive front-end fees, single premium credit life insurance, and exorbitant prepayment penalties – that make homeownership much more costly for families that can least afford it.
Key findings of a HUD study, Unequal Burden: Income and Racial Disparities in Subprime Lending in America, show that: subprime loans are three times more likely in low-income neighborhoods than in high-income neighborhoods; subprime loans are five times more likely in black neighborhoods than in white neighborhoods; and homeowners in high-income black areas are twice as likely as homeowners in low-income white areas to have subprime loans.
Subprime lending involves providing credit to borrowers with past credit problems, who cannot qualify for the conventional prime market. Subprime lending can include predatory lending, which hits homebuyers with excessive mortgage fees, interest rates, penalties and pre-paid credit life insurance charges that can raise the cost of homebuying by thousands of dollars for individual families.
HUD has also launched a nationwide education and public service campaign to combat housing discrimination. The campaign will feature radio and television public service announcements with the actor Edward James Olmos. Brochures, fact sheets, posters and videos will also be distributed to non-profit and community based organizations to teach people how to recognize the signs of housing discrimination and how to fight back.