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AP News: Redfin settles lawsuit alleging housing discrimination

AP News, April 29, 2022, Redfin settles lawsuit alleging housing discrimination

Fair housing advocates on Friday announced a settlement agreement to resolve a lawsuit against real estate brokerage Redfin that will expand housing opportunities for consumers in communities of color in numerous major cities.

Under the agreement, Seattle-based Redfin will change its minimum housing price policy, alter other practices, and pay $4 million to settle the suit brought against it by the National Fair Housing Alliance and nine other fair housing organizations in 2020.

The changes will increase access to Redfin’s real estate services across the country and help counter redlining and residential segregation that NFHA and the other plaintiffs alleged Redfin’s policies perpetuated. Redlining is a now-illegal practice in which banks would refuse to make home loans to someone because they live in an area deemed to be a poor financial risk.

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Redlining and Neighborhood Health

Before the pandemic devastated minority communities, banks and government officials starved them of capital.

Lower-income and minority neighborhoods that were intentionally cut off from lending and investment decades ago today suffer not only from reduced wealth and greater poverty, but from lower life expectancy and higher prevalence of chronic diseases that are risk factors for poor outcomes from COVID-19, a new study shows.

The new study, from the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) with researchers from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health and the University of Richmond’s Digital Scholarship Lab, compared 1930’s maps of government-sanctioned lending discrimination zones with current census and public health data.

Table of Content

  • Executive Summary
  • Introduction
  • Redlining, the HOLC Maps and Segregation
  • Segregation, Public Health and COVID-19
  • Methods
  • Results
  • Discussion
  • Conclusion and Policy Recommendations
  • Citations
  • Appendix

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