By Mary Ellen Podmolik,Tribune reporter
Study shows poor upkeep of foreclosed homes in communities of color
Foreclosed homes in the Chicago area and in 29 other major cities continue to be maintained better in white communities than in communities of color, according to a national study of about 2,400 homes by a national fair housing organization.
In the Chicago area, local fair housing groups affiliated with the National Fair Housing Alliance visited 350 foreclosed homes between April 2012 and December 2013 that were owned by banks or Fannie Mae. It found that foreclosures in communities of color were almost four times more likely than those in predominantly white communities to have an unsecured, broken or boarded door and about three times more likely to have broken, unsecured or boarded windows.
Since 2012, the alliance has filed complaints related to the upkeep and marketing of foreclosed homes with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development against lenders U.S. Bank, Bank of America, Deutsche Bank, as well as property maintenance firms Safeguard Properties, Asset Management Specialists and Cypress Services. HUD has not taken any action on the complaints.
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