prosecutor announces partnership with DOJ’s Combatting Redlining Initiative | USAO-SDOH
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Ohio has announced its partnership with the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division as it launches the department’s new anti-redlining initiative .
Redlining is an illegal practice in which lenders avoid providing services to people living in communities of color due to the race or national origin of the people who live in those communities. The new initiative represents the ministry’s most aggressive and coordinated enforcement effort to combat redlining, which is prohibited by the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act.
“Redlining is not only harmful in our communities of color, it is also illegal,” said Interim United States Attorney Vipal J. Patel. “I want to assure those who live in the Southern District of Ohio that we will investigate and hold accountable those who put our communities at risk.”
Redlining, a practice institutionalized by the federal government during the New Deal era and implemented then and today by private lenders, has had a lasting negative impact. For American families, homeownership remains the primary means of creating wealth, and the deprivation of investment and access to mortgage services for communities of color has contributed to families of color. consistently lag behind in homeownership rates and net worth compared to white families. The gap in homeownership rates between white and black families is larger today than it was in 1960, before the passage of the Fair Housing Act of 1968.
This initiative, which will be led by the Housing and Civil Law Enforcement Section of the Civil Rights Division in partnership with United States prosecutors’ offices, will build on the Division’s longstanding work of seeks to make mortgage credit and home ownership available to all Americans on equal terms, regardless of race or national origin, and regardless of the neighborhood in which they live.
- Use U.S. prosecutors’ offices as a force multiplier to ensure fair loan application is informed by local expertise in housing markets and the credit needs of local communities of color.
- Extend the department’s analyzes of potential reclassifications to depository and non-depository institutions. Non-depository lenders are not traditional banks and do not provide typical banking services, but engage in mortgages and now do the majority of mortgages in this country.
- Strengthen our partnership with financial regulators to ensure the identification and referral of fair loan violations to the Department of Justice.
- Increase coordination with state attorneys general on potential fair loan violations.
Individuals can report loan discrimination by calling the Department of Justice’s Housing Discrimination Hotline at 1-833-591-0291, or submit a report online.
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