Foreclosure Crisis Wallops Minority Neighborhoods

Lenders accused of 'redlining' black neighborhoods for subprime loans
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 16, 2009 6:44 AM CDT
A man walks by a foreclosed home in the Bronx borough of New York.    (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)
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(Newser) – The national foreclosure crisis is battering minority neighborhoods with disproportionate force, the New York Times reports. Few areas in the New York region have been untouched by the crisis, but 85% of the worst-hit neighborhoods have a majority of black and Latino homeowners. Experts blame the trend on subprime lenders' targeting of minorities and warn it could extend inequalities for decades to come.

Consumer advocates charge that lenders who once shunned black neighborhoods targeted them for the marketing of subprime loans, making upper and middle-income black borrowers far likelier to hold the high-interest loans. "My district feels like ground zero,” said a New York city councilman whose Queens district has been devastated by the crisis. “In military terms, we are being pillaged.”