Letter to HUD opposing the set of deregulatory efforts now under way that are withdrawing crucial commonsense oversight from the housing and financial markets, enabling discrimination, and thereby increasing barriers to affordable housing
If the proposed rule went into effect, HUD’s assessment of whether localities were meeting their AFFH obligations would not include consideration of race, religion, national origin, families with children, or other protected classes that the Fair Housing Act was intended to shield from discrimination. The proposed rule eliminates the community participation process, which was proven to be extremely effective in helping communities develop meaningful fair housing goals, and does not even have a requirement that state and local governments conduct a fair housing analysis for their communities at all.
A coalition of 27 civil rights, community, consumer and other groups challenges CFPB’s consideration of reducing home lending disclosure, a critical tool to stop lending discrimination and hold banks accountable for their record of lending to communities of color and lower income neighborhoods.
“HUD’s proposed rule makes it virtually impossible for a disparate impact claim to stand in court,” says Linda Jun, senior policy counsel for Americans for Financial Reform Education Fund. “By raising the threshold for disparate impact, the new rule creates a nearly unsurmountable bar for plaintiffs to prove discriminatory outcomes and makes it much easier for defendants to shield themselves from any responsibility for discrimination.”
Private equity owns over a million U.S. apartment units. Tenants pay a price when corporate landlords buy their buildings. In some cases, private equity buyers have pushed out lower-income tenants – through rent hikes, eviction threats, and more – to flip buildings into high-rent properties to sell for big profits.
Wall Street private equity funds are continuing to snap up homes to pad their expanding portfolio of rental properties. Institutional investors own nearly a quarter million single-family rental homes. Wall Street landlords often hike rents, avoid repairs, gouge tenants with fees, and are more likely to evict tenants.
AFR in the News: During tenure working for banks, Tim Pawlenty thrilled Wall Street, angered consumer advocates (Minneapolis Star-Tribune)
“Across party and regional lines, most people think Wall Street has too much influence in Washington. And they think that because it does,” said Lisa Donner, executive director of Americans for Financial Reform, a consortium of labor unions, consumer groups, liberal think tanks and organizations like AARP.
“I don’t see the real-world problem [the bill] is trying to solve, except the problem of bankers’ not making enough money,” said Marcus Stanley, policy director at Americans for Financial Reform… [Stanley] said competition alone shouldn’t be the goal. “If we didn’t require airlines to do anything before opening up a new air route, there might be more airlines, but there might be more plane crashes too.”
H.R. 2570 would open the door to predatory mortgage lending by making it easier for lenders to steer homeowners into high-cost, abusive deals on certain mortgages, especially on home equity lines of credit and construction loans
Letter to Regulator: AFR, 8 organizations provide detailed recommendations to FHFA to improve language access in the mortgage industry
“The burden of interpreting financial services jargon and communicating with lenders and servicers should not rest solely on borrowers. . . . Expanding access to language services throughout the mortgage process would begin to equalize a system that currently undermines the ability of LEP borrowers to understand the complexities of their future homeownership prospects and to protect their home after purchasing it.”