ACLU Studies Impact of Housing Crisis on the Wealth Gap

ACLU Studies Impact of Housing Crisis on the Wealth Gap

According to a study commissioned by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the recovery following the housing crisis has diverged between minority and non-minority families. While white families showed a stronger recovery during the period of 2009-11, black families continued to see their wealth decline. A principal reason cited for this is the difference in sources of wealth: black families were much more dependent on home equity as a source of wealth compared to white families. The ACLU uses these findings as the basis for supporting a number of changes in public policy with compliance implications:

Reforms should ensure that all of these players operate in a way that encourages inclusive lending and provides a disincentive for discrimination on the part of originators…

Policymakers should carefully monitor current lending practices to ensure that low-income and minority communities are not being unfairly excluded, and to clarify that recent legislation does not support racially disparate limitations on access to credit…

Policy reforms aimed at strengthening regulators or addressing abuses in the mortgage servicing industry should be specially attuned to the civil rights consequences of unequal exclusion from housing opportunity.

Although the current environment in Washington does not suggest substantial legislative changes in the near-term, this study highlights how organizations like the ACLU will continue to put pressure on legislators and regulators to address Fair Lending and CRA concerns.

July 2nd, 2015|