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Redlining targets Black Minnesotans and neighborhoods

Wells Fargo leads pack according to U of M report on sub-prime lenders

By Charles Hallman
Staff Writer

 

A new University of Minnesota Law School study shows that Blacks and other communities of color and low-income residents in the Twin Cities still lack access to credit. It is an update of a 2009 study that found that Blacks and Latinos — even with “very high income[s] — were much more likely to get sub-prime loans than very low-income White applicants.”

“It’s hard to believe that systemically a Black family that is making $157,000 a year is less likely to qualify for a prime loan than a White family that earns 40 [thousand a year],” noted Myron Orfield, the director of the Institute on Metropolitan Opportunity, which is housed at the U of M Law School. The report also shows that Blacks and other people of color who live in two North Minneapolis neighborhoods had the highest number of sub-prime loans compared to Whites in the same neighborhoods: 59 percent for people of color compared to 42 percent Whites in Near North; and 55 percent for people of color in Camden compared to 29 percent for Whites. These two areas also “were most dramatically affected” among Twin Cities neighborhoods. “Our report [reveals] discrimination in lending against individuals on the basis of race, and also discrimination in lending against neighborhoods on the basis of race,” noted Orfield, who heads the U of M Law School’s

Institute on Metropolitan Opportunity (IMO). Continue Reading →

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Sisters unite to save youth’s life — Rare disease strikes physically active teens

 

 

By Dwight Hobbes

Contributing Writer

We know the expression “heart and soul.” You can even look up definitions, one of which reads, “the entirety of one’s energies or affections.” In that spirit, Minneapolis sisters Christina Paylor and Carmen Means are drawing on soul-deep commitments to family to help the ailing heart of 13-year-old Amazin Crudup, Paylor’s daughter and Means’ niece. Amazin has hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, which damages the muscle wall of the lower chambers of the heart and is a leading cause of sudden cardiac death in especially active adolescents. After getting up in the morning, getting dressed takes about all the strength she can manage before needing to rest. Routine teenage activities like frequenting the shopping mall, carousing downtown on a Friday night, even simply going to school are out of the question. At press deadline, Amazin had weakened enough to have been admitted to University of Minnesota Amplatt Children’s Hospital since March 18. Continue Reading →

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Security workers’ strike leads to contract agreement

 

 

News Analysis

By Mel Reeves

Contributing Writer

 

After going on a one-day strike, security officers from SEIU Local 26 came to a contract agreement with local security companies. “We were striking for better healthcare benefits, job security and better pay. You could say we were fighting to move our members out of poverty,” said Harrison Bullard, executive vice president of SEIU local 26. Bullard’s union also participated in a “week of actions” designed to show the connections between his union, the fight for better wages, and the office cleaners’ fight for dignity and higher wages. It also sought to unite those workers’ struggle with that of workers who are being discriminated against because of their past criminal records and workers who have been wrongfully foreclosed on by the major banks. Continue Reading →

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‘Free money’ for down payments offers homebuyers a LIFT

 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

Free money — that’s what NeighborhoodLIFT Program Manager Kimberly Smith-Moore calls $15,000 in down payment assistance that’s being offered to eligible homebuyers. The down payment assistance can be applied to a mortgage loan with any approved lender. The program is a partnership between Wells Fargo, NeighborWorks America, Neighborhood Housing Services in Minneapolis and Community Neighborhood Housing Services in St. Paul. Wells Fargo is investing $9 million — $7.2 million for the $15,000 down payment assistance grants, $650,000 for educational events, and Minneapolis and St. Continue Reading →

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