Philadelphia – July 27, 2022 – Four years after being called to action by Sen. Vincent Hughes, today federal and state leaders announced a major, historic settlement with a former top mortgage lender over accusations of redlining and housing discrimination in the Philadelphia metro area, as well as surrounding communities in New Jersey and Delaware.
The settlement of more than $20 million with Trident Mortgage Company, is to resolve allegations of redlining: the practice of banks withholding loans to people of color for home purchases in neighborhoods with a high density of immigrants and African Americans.
According to the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General, the deal requires Trident to provide individual subsidies of up to $10,000 in support of new mortgages for owner-occupied homes in majority-minority neighborhoods to qualified applicants.Hughes played a crucial role in getting the investigation into redlining in Philadelphia started.
“It was Senator Hughes that reached out to the Office of Attorney General four years ago to sound the alarm on possible redlining in our communities, and he’s been dogged about this, staying on us,” Shapiro said during a news conference this morning at Malcolm X Park in West Philadelphia.
“Black and Latinx members in our community deserve the right to make their American dream of owning a home a reality. My team and I have fought for that right for many years. Our fight intensified when in early 2018 we read the ‘Kept Out’ report and the significant detail it provided of the continuing problem we now call “modern-day redlining,” said Hughes.
The report – compiled by the Center for Investigative Reporting – examined 31 million mortgage records from across the country. It showed Philadelphia was one of the largest problem areas where discriminatory lending practices still exist.
It was during budget hearings in February 2018 immediately after reading the report that Hughes pressed state leaders, including Shapiro, to take action. He also penned a letter with U.S. Sen. Bob Casey calling on the federal government to investigate the matter.
“We applaud Attorney General Shapiro for heeding our call, and bringing justice to a number of the victims, and we hope today serves as a warning to other bad actors in the lending industry that such discriminatory, appalling behavior will not be tolerated, and they will be held accountable for their actions. We also thank our multi-state and federal partners for working together to have this important resolve put in place,” said Hughes.
Hughes has introduced legislation – the State Community Reinvestment Act – to ensure banks and other mortgage lending institutions are held accountable to standards of fairness and equal access and treatment.
“We encourage my colleagues to support this legislation and other measures we are pursuing to make sure access to the American dream along with its ability to build personal wealth – which home ownership provides – is equally available to anyone and everyone,” said Hughes.
This morning’s new conference can be viewed here.
The Office of Attorney General has set up an email inbox for Pennsylvanians interested in buying a home in one of the impacted communities: firstname.lastname@example.org.