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HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan Addresses Housing Discrimination, Importance Of FHA Loans In Zillow-hosted Town Hall Meeting

SEATTLE, Jan. 22, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, Zillow hosted Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan, in a town hall meeting on minority access to housing. The entire video is available at

After an introduction from the National Urban League, Donovan and Zillow® Chief Economist Dr. Stan Humphries answered audience and user-submitted online questions during a half-hour town hall titled Building Equality in Housing.

Topics included:
  • The historical legacy of housing discrimination in the United States. Donovan said that while HUD has helped make good progress over the years, tackling the issue through housing policy alone is insufficient.
    • "These are things we have to attack with a much broader set of initiatives," Donovan said, including improving education, creating better jobs and raising the minimum wage.
  • The importance of housing counseling and education, and broader consumer-protection laws in the wake of the housing recession.
    • "Let's be clear, there needed to be better protection for consumers, and that's why the president created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau," Donovan said. "There was more protection when you were buying a toaster than buying your first home."
  • Restrictive lending standards, especially for black and Hispanic homebuyers.
    • "[In] so many neighborhoods of concentrated poverty in this country, that are disproportionately minority unfortunately, we see kids who, no matter how hard they work, no matter what their parents do to help them get ahead, their single-most important determinant of their life chances isn't their potential. It's their ZIP code," Donovan said. "And that's simply wrong."
  • The need to preserve Federal Housing Administration loans as the debate on reforming the mortgage finance system continues in Washington, D.C.
    • "It really is important that as we make changes to our housing finance system, we not hurt the very source of credit that so many in America, including many minorities, have looked to as the way to get access to that first home," Donovan said.

Prior to the event, Zillow released research on minority access to housing. More information about that report can be found here.

About Zillow, Inc.

Zillow, Inc. (NASDAQ:Z) operates the leading real estate and home-related information marketplaces on mobile and the Web, with a complementary portfolio of brands and products that help people find vital information about homes, and connect with the best local professionals. Zillow's brands serve the full lifecycle of owning and living in a home: buying, selling, renting, financing, remodeling and more. In addition, Zillow offers a suite of tools and services to help local real estate, mortgage, rental and home improvement professionals manage and market their businesses. Welcoming 64 million unique users during its peak month in 2013, the Zillow, Inc. portfolio includes®, Zillow Mobile, Zillow Mortgage Marketplace, Zillow Rentals, Zillow Digs™, Postlets®, Diverse Solutions®, Agentfolio®, Mortech®, HotPads™ and StreetEasy®. The company is headquartered in Seattle.

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