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 http://www.zillow.com/education/HUD.
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.
- 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.