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Op-Ed & Research

CURRENT REPORTS

Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Fiscal Year (FY) 2007 Annual Report on Fair Housing

The Fiscal Year (FY) 2007 Annual Report on Fair Housing describes activities that help individuals who have experienced unlawful discrimination and that educate housing professionals and the public on fair housing laws. This report includes information on the number and types of housing discrimination complaints filed with HUD and Fair Housing Assistance Program (FHAP) agencies, which are state and local government agencies that enforce fair housing laws that are substantially equivalent to the federal Fair Housing Act. In addition, it includes several case summaries that show the breadth of cases filed. The following are a few notable examples of HUD’s efforts in FY 2007 to promote equal housing opportunity.

Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO) 2007 PERFORMANCE AND ACCOUNTABILITY REPORT

OFHEO is focused on overseeing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s remediation of the problems that led to the portfolio caps in the first place. When OFHEO completed its special examinations at the Enterprises, each company was directed to address accounting, internal controls, risk management, governance and financial reporting problems. In 2007, both Enterprises continued to make progress, but neither company has completed all of the items identified in their consent orders. Both Enterprises expect to begin filing timely, audited financial statements in February 2008. OFHEO will lift the portfolio caps once they have fully resolved their pertinent safety and soundness issues. Subsequent to the lifting of the caps, OFHEO will also review the 30 percent additional capital requirement. These actions will create further need for enhanced regulator oversight from a stronger regulator as proposed in comprehensive GSE reform legislation currently pending before Congress.

Americans on the “Fenceline” Have No Defense People of Color More Concentrated Near Hazardous Waste Facilities Than Twenty Years Ago by Robert D. Bullard, featured in DISSIDENT VOICE

Recycling events, neighborhood cleanups, awareness festivals, lectures series, and other activities are slated throughout the nation to mark the 37th anniversary of Earth Day April 22. While there is much to celebrate, there is also good reason to raise the red flag that all is not well in America. This is especially true for the physical environments where people of color live, work, play, worship, and attend school.

HUD Releases “39 Steps Toward Fair Housing

The 39 Steps Toward Fair Housing depicts the issues, cases, developments and achievements that have been a part of this nation’s efforts to end discrimination and create equal housing opportunities for all since the Fair Housing Act was passed in April 1968. And although equality in housing remains elusive to many minorities, HUD continues to enforce current fair housing laws and policies with conviction, provide education to the public about their fair housing rights, and reach out to the housing industry to build the kinds of alliances that will help ensure that every resident of this nation is afforded the opportunity to live where they choose.

HUD issues its FY 2006 Annual Report on Fair Housing

The FY 2006 Annual Report on Fair Housing shows that HUD and Fair Housing Assistance Program (FHAP) agencies received 10,328 housing discrimination complaints during the year, the highest number ever filed in a single year. It also describes HUD’s fair housing enforcement, education, and outreach activities during the year, and the activities conducted under its Fair Housing Assistance Program (FHAP) and Fair Housing Initiatives Program (FHIP).

HUD’S Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR)

HUD’s Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress measures homelessness over time, allowing researchers to expand their body of knowledge beyond more limited estimates in the past. HUD unveiled new data from Continuums of Care (CoC) that indicates 754,000 persons are living in emergency shelter, transitional housing, and on the streets on any given night. In addition, data from Homeless Management Information Systems (HMIS), available for the first time, indicated that 704,000 persons used emergency shelter and transitional housing during a three-month period (February-April) in 2005.

EMINENT DOMAIN & AFRICAN AMERICANS

“Eminent domain has become what the founding fathers sought to prevent: a tool that takes from the poor and the politically weak to give to the rich and politically powerful,” concludes Dr. Mindy Fullilove in her report titled, “Eminent Domain & African Americans: What is the Price of the Commons?”

Eminent Domain & African Americans is the first in a series of independently authored reports published by the Institute for Justice, Perspectives on Eminent Domain Abuse, which examine the different aspects of eminent domain abuse from the vantage point of noted national experts.

In this study, Dr. Fullilove, a research psychiatrist at the New York State Psychiatric Institute and a professor of clinical psychiatry and public health at Columbia University, examines the effects of eminent domain abuse on the African American community. Focusing specifically on the Federal Housing Act (FHA) of 1949, Dr. Fullilove finds that “[b]etween 1949 and 1973 … 2,532 projects were carried out in 992 cities that displaced one million people, two-thirds of them African American,” making blacks “five times more likely to be displaced than they should have been given their numbers in the population.”

Click Eminent Domain & African Americans: What is the Price of the Commons? to download the pdf file of the report.

This is a project of the Institute of Justice and Castle Coalition Publications.

HF-017, Goal Performance and Characteristics of Mortgages Purchased by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, 2001-2005, May 2007.

This paper reports on the recent performance of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) in the secondary mortgage market, on goals established for their mortgage purchases by the HUD Secretary. It also provides information on basic characteristics of the loans purchased by these GSEs in recent years. Click here to download the pdf file of the report.

HF-018, The GSEs’ Funding of Affordable Loans: A 2004-05 Update, June 2007.

The main purpose of this study is to assess the extent to which Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are funding home loans for low-income borrowers and others who historically have not been well served by the mortgage market. The study is the most recent of several working papers and analyses examining the affordable lending performance of these two Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs) in the secondary mortgage market. This study, which updates earlier analyses to include data for years 2004 and 2005, compares the borrower and neighborhood characteristics of single-family mortgages purchased by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac with the characteristics of home loans originated in the primary market during the same time period. This issue of the GSEs’ affordable lending performance has been highlighted by the new affordable housing regulations that the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) issued for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in 2004, reports by the Congressional Budget Office and Federal Reserve staff raising questions about the degree to which homeowners share in the Federal benefits received by the GSEs, and recent legislative proposals to alter the regulatory structure under which the GSEs operate. Click here to download the pdf file of the report.

THE CENTER FOR RESPONSIBLE LENDING

Losing Ground: Foreclosures in the Subprime Market and Their Cost to Homeowners

A new CRL study reveals that millions of American households will lose their homes and as much as $164 billion due to foreclosures in the subprime mortgage market. December 2006

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