NewsOne Now Audio Podcast: HUD’s Plan To End Housing Discrimination


HUD Looks To End Housing Discrimination, Predatory Lending Against Minorities

If you thought housing discrimination was dead — you thought wrong.

According to HUD’s Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, housing discrimination is still alive and kicking. In 2014, HUD has handled discrimination cases dealing with

  • Race/national Origin
  • Maternity Lending
  • Disability
  • Domestic Violence Survivors
  • Families with Children

HUD’s Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity is working hard to combat unlawful housing discrimination. Of the 8,850 complaints that were received in Fiscal Year 2014, 8,281 were resolved, resulting in almost $33 million in compensation for victims and victims’ funds.

Julián Castro, Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, joined Roland Martin Friday on NewsOne Now to discuss HUD’s program to end housing discrimination and address the home foreclosure crisis wiping out 50 percent of Black wealth.

Castro told Martin, host of NewsOne Now, “Throughout American history, the creation of wealth has been tied in home ownership and that’s the American dream.”

“We have every interest in the Administration ensuring that folks can hold on to their homes and build that wealth over the last several years.”

“Particularly through the housing crisis, the Obama Administration invested in resources to ensure that folks could stay in their homes. That continues to this day and at HUD, we’ve taken on new programs like our Distressed Asset Sales Program, where lenders work with borrowers to try and keep them in their homes.”

“The goal is to ensure that communities stay whole and that the dream of home ownership is real for Americans.”

To prevent African-Americans and minorities from falling prey to predatory lending practices, Castro said there were a number of steps taken to “strengthen the rules of the road.” He highlighted the “Qualified Mortgage” as a way to dictate what loans are going to be “ensured and securitized.”

Castro also highlighted FHA loans as a vehicle for first-time homebuyers to have an opportunity to purchase a home and ensure the loan.

To combat housing discrimination, Castro said HUD’s Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity uses “testers that go out and test the market” to see what individuals may be doing to discriminate against minorities.

“Through our research we’ve found that renters who are African-American who call about listings are told about 12 percent fewer listings than the mainstream, than Whites. Latinos are usually told 11 percent less listings and Asian-Americans are told about 10 percent less listings.”

According to Castro, HUD has received over 40,000 complaints on various types of housing discrimination that has led to approximately $105 million in settlements.

Castro explained that not only are people being discriminated against along racial lines, but pregnant women, people with disabilities, domestic violence survivors, and families with children all have faced housing discrimination in this current age.

If you feel as though you have been discriminated against in your search for housing, please call HUD at (800) 669-97777, visit www.HUD.govor download the Housing Discrimination Complaint Application app.

Dash Cam Video From Walter Scott Shooting Released

A video taken from a dash cam in North Charleston, South Carolina Police Officer Michael T. Slager’scruiser was released Thursday, showing 50-year-old Walter Scott exiting his vehicle and running away.

Scott was fatally shot by Slager as he fled on foot Saturday, prompting authorities to charge the now-fired officer with murder. The short dash cam video captures just a portion of their encounter that began when Slager stopped Scott for a broken tail light.

‘Kids Behind Bars’ Documentary Gives An Exclusive Look At The Lives Of Incarcerated Juveniles

The school-t0-prison pipeline is alive and well in America.

There are currently more than 60,000 individuals under the age of 21 locked behind bars in the United States.

On Sunday, April 12 at 10PM, Al Jazeera American will give us an exclusive look at the lives of incarcerated juveniles through the lens of Soledad O’Brien’s latest documentary, “Kids Behind Bars: A Soledad O’Brien Special Report.

According to a press release, “Al Jazeera America was given extensive access inside a once-notorious juvenile lock-up, the J. Paul Taylor Center in Las Cruces, New Mexico, where the state is now trying something new: offering education, counseling, and maybe even a second chance for juvenile offenders.”

“In “Kids Behind Bars: A Soledad O’Brien Special Report,” Al Jazeera America examines the human impact of CAMBIAR, modeled after a similar program in Missouri with one of the lowest recidivism rates in the country. New Mexico’s Juvenile Justice Services director Sandra Stewart says, “Instead of just warehousing kids and watching them serve their time, the kids learn to do everything together in a unit and the staff [are] trained to be more along the lines of mentors, team leaders and coaches rather than correctional officers.”

Soledad O’Brien, CEO of Starfish Media Group joined Roland Martin Friday on NewsOne Now via Skype to discuss the upcoming documentary that shines the light on the epidemic of incarceration in America.

We’ve often looked at juvenile justice and in fact the justice system as a whole in America in a way schizophrenically. We don’t really know what we want as the outcome. So in the past … they would put these kids in solitary confinement, there were allegations of horrific physical and sexual abuse taking place within this juvenile justice system.

What they have been thinking about is how should it be if the goal is to rehabilitate the kids then what do you need to do while they’re in to sort of change the trajectory — if the goal is to lower recidivism rates, what do you need to do and who are the kids that need to be in the system?

The current juvenile justice system is not set up to rehabilitate prisoners, if and when these individuals are released back into the public they have “no education, no ability to learn how to manage a lot of the traumatic experiences — bad experiences these kids have either perpetrated themselves or have been through.”

The juvenile detention program profiled in “Kids Behind Bars,” takes a different approach to handling issues with its inmates. If there is a fight, “They won’t put the kids in solitary confinement, which is what they used to do. They have to all sit down as a group and talk about what precipitated the fight, how did the fight go, who was responsible for, who is going to take the blame for the fight and discuss it as a group.

“It’s a really different kind of strategy than what they used to do in the past” before the CAMBIAR model was initiated in 2010 where solitary confinement was used as a punishment for fighting.

O’Brien also details a number of the other ways the J. Paul Taylor Center is “trying to see if they can change how the juvenile detention is set up.” Inmates in the facility attend a full day of school, can participate in GED programs, attend counseling sessions and guards are trained as mentors.

Taraji P. Henson Will Host SNL This Weekend

When NBC announced that ‘Empire’ star Taraji P. Henson would host ‘Saturday Night Live’ on March 11, #CookieMonsters ’round the world rejoiced.

Henson will only be the 10th Black woman to ever host SNL, though the show has welcomed more than 500 hosts since its 1975 premiere. That’s only at about 2 percent of all hosts.

All that and more in this special edition of the “NewsOne Now” Audio Podcast.

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