U.S. Bank accused of housing discrimination in maintaining New Orleans foreclosed properties

March 11, 2014
U.S. Bank has allowed foreclosed properties in New Orleans' predominantly African-American neighborhoods to fall into disrepair with trash strewn in yards and overgrown weeds while similar houses in majority white neighborhoods are properly maintained, the National Fair Housing Alliance said Tuesday (March 11) as part of its two-year campaign highlighting the condition of vacant, bank-owned houses.
     In response, Minneapolis-based U.S. Bank said the group's claims are inaccurate because the bank is often the corporate trustee of an investment pool of properties with no legal right to maintain the houses. The bank said the National Fair Housing Alliance "has shown with this issue that they are far more interested in headlines than addressing a real community need."
     Since 2012, the National Fair Housing Alliance has filed complaints under the federal Fair Housing Act with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, arguing that foreclosed, bank-owned homes in black and Latino neighborhoods across the U.S. are often ignored and blighted, while homes in white neighborhoods are cared for and marketed to be sold.