Protected classes include:
Equal housing means you can choose the neighborhood you live in, because where you live often determines your access to quality education, employment options, reliable transportation, and safe, healthy environments.
Discriminatory practices in real estate sales or lending can have a harmful effect on our community. Unfair policies reinforce segregated living patterns and prevent the creation of diverse neighborhoods. Local economies may suffer from decreased property values, loss of tax revenue, reduced population, and diminished business activity. Decreased homeownership threatens the stability and strength of our communities.
Fair housing rights protect our neighborhoods from these discriminatory practices, and foster the creation of stable, inclusive communities of opportunity.
* state protection
** local protection
Discriminatory Housing Practices Defined
Persuading owners to sell their homes based on a fear that members of a protected class are moving into the neighborhood. This is a scare tactic practiced by some realtors.
Directing prospective home buyers to certain neighborhoods based on their membership in a protected class. Discouraging home buyers from considering certain neighborhoods by exaggerating drawbacks or failing to mention amenities. Unwillingness to show homes in all areas.
Unwillingness to sell homes or offer home loans in particular neighborhoods or geographic regions due to the race or ethnicity of the residents.
Predatory Lending and Reverse Redlining
Loans with abusive terms and conditions put borrowers at risk of losing their homes. Such loans may be discriminatory if they are targeted towards borrowers or neighborhoods that are members of a protected class.
Predatory loans take advantage of borrowers who are unfamiliar with the banking system or have difficulty obtaining a traditional bank loan. Signs of a predatory loan include:
- Charging excessive interest rates and higher fees.
- Failing to disclose the true cost and terms of the loan.
- Approving a loan without considering a person’s ability to repay.
- Convincing borrowers to frequently refinance the loan.
- Carrying terms that make it difficult to refinance the loan.
- Balloon payments and prepayment penalties.