“All these banks say they have procedures, but you can look at our photographs and see that that’s an absolute lie,” Smith said. “They simply refuse to maintain their foreclosures in communities of color.”
Fair housing group: Bank of America foreclosed homes in white neighborhoods are better maintained than those in black and Latino neighborhoods
Chevelle Bushnell has written to her homeowners association about the trash, debris and overgrown shrubbery at the vacant townhouse next door to her home in District Heights, Md. She’s called police repeatedly to report break-ins, including one in which thieves cut through the wall of the vacant townhouse to get inside her home.
“Pretty much I have had to secure my house with cameras,” said Bushnell, who has lived in the Prince George’s County community for 26 years. “They need to fix this house and sell it. I am sure there are people interested.”
The vacant townhouse, in a predominantly African American neighborhood and county, is an example of how banks fail to secure and maintain foreclosed homes in black and Latino neighborhoods, fair housing advocates say.
The home is featured in a discrimination complaint filed Wednesday with the Department of Housing and Urban Development against Bank of America, alleging that the bank has neglected foreclosed homes it owns in minority neighborhoods and has done a better job of maintaining those in white communities.