Thursday, October 25, 2012

Woodlawn Wonder: Race, Real Estate and The Bank Of America

It was in the news recently that Bank of America takes better care of foreclosed properties in white areas than they would in Black or "minority" areas. Here's a story from the Tribune:
A national fair housing group has added Chicago and two other cities to its complaint charging that Bank of America Corp. takes better care of foreclosed properties in white communities than those in predominantly minority neighborhoods.

The inclusion of Chicago, along with Milwaukee and Indianapolis, brings to 13 the number of cities included in the National Fair Housing Alliance's complaint originally filed with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in September involving eight cities. Two other cities were added earlier this month.

The Washington, D.C.-based alliance, a consortium of private, nonprofit fair housing groups, alleges that the lender "has a systemic and particularized practice" of handling foreclosed properties differently depending on race and color, and the practice has occurred at least since 2011.
Meanwhile in commenting on this story the Woodlawn Wonder at her blog  - I Hate My Developer - offers her 2 cents:
Yesterday the Chicago Tribune reported that Bank of America has been accused of taking better care of foreclosed properties in predominately white neighborhoods than they do in minority neighborhoods.

Oh boy here we go.

Topics of race and racism are always incendiary.

Nonetheless, when I do discuss issues of race with people I don't know (which I rarely do), I take an emotionless position. Instead of ranting and raving about institutional and casual racism I discuss facts.

Most commenters on this story were saying that the issue was not about race but rather one of return on investment (ROI) or sound business principles.
You should read the rest of her posting, so now we go down the road of race in talking about foreclosure in "minority" communities. She had the right approach in not allowing emotion to enter into a discussion such as this. This became a racial discussion when she only noted that foreclosed properties should be properly secured, but there are those who think such properties would only be broken into in many minority areas.

All the same, many in this area have seen the effects of foreclosure. We've covered squatters although I could drive around certain neighborhoods and note all the boarded up properties that are seen on this part of town. To be sure, I'm not entirely certain if vandalism is an issue.

Still all the same, any property that doesn't have anyone living on the property - especially a foreclosure - should be properly secured. There shouldn't be an argument on whether that should occur in a "minority" community or not.

What say you?

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 Joe Zekas ran the real estate news website YoChicago . If you have been following that site and their social media channels i.e. YouTube o...