2,300 U.S. Foreclosures Show a Racial Divide in House Decay

The New York Times | December 13, 2016         The modest white house on Arlene Avenue in Dayton, Ohio, was an eyesore. The paint was peeling, and parts of the shutters were missing. The yard was thickly overgrown, and the back door, such as it was, had been jury-rigged from plywood.

The home on Jeanette Street in New Orleans didn’t look much better, with its broken steps, exposed wiring and vines sprouting from the gutter.

And the pale-green property on 64th Avenue in Oakland, Calif., ticked off many of the same complaints: broken windows, damaged fence, rotten wood, peeling paint.

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Each of these homes, among more than 2,300 foreclosures around the country visited by fair-housing testers between 2011 and 2015, sits in a census tract that is overwhelmingly nonwhite. Nonprofit housing advocacy groups allege in a federal district court lawsuit filed in California this month that the lender responsible for maintaining them, the quasi-government agency Fannie Mae, allowed them to deteriorate.  Read more here.