Study: Foreclosures More Neglected in Minority Areas

Foreclosed homes in predominantly white neighborhoods tend to be better maintained than foreclosed homes in black and Latino neighborhoods, which were more likely to be found in disrepair and appear abandoned, finds a new study by the National Fair Housing Alliance.

The advocacy group inspected 1,000 foreclosed homes in nine major cities for the study. The advocacy group inspected the homes based on an assigned criteria rating, which included inspecting homes for damaged windows, graffiti, peeling paint, missing shutters or gutters, overgrown weeds, and other factors. 

For example, agency inspectors found that foreclosed homes in minority neighborhoods were 82 percent more likely to have broken or boarded-up windows than homes in predominantly white neighborhoods.

“The proper maintenance and marketing of [foreclosed] properties is a key factor in the sale of homes to families rather than to investors,” Shanna Smith, NFHA President and CEO, said on a recent conference call about the group’s findings. 

The advocacy group alleges discrimination under the Fair Housing Act and says it plans to file complaints with federal housing authorities.

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