Fair Housing Organizations Applaud Senate Passage of Bold Financial Reform

May 21, 2010, 10:26 ET from National Fair Housing Alliance

WASHINGTON, May 21 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Statement of Shanna Smith, President & CEO of the National Fair Housing Alliance:

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The National Fair Housing Alliance applauds the U. S. Senate for passing long awaited financial reform legislation.  The Restoring American Financial Stability Act of 2010 will go far in bringing back soundness, structure, fairness and transparency to our financial markets.

It will take decades for many Americans, neighborhoods and small businesses to recover from this devastating foreclosure and financial crisis.  The crisis has gravely impacted all Americans, particularly communities of color and families with children.  

Unfortunately, the call made by the civil rights community in April 2007 to place a moratorium on foreclosures in an effort to help stem the impact of the impending crisis was ignored.   For over a decade, NFHA and its member organizations have worked to help borrowers who had fallen prey to abusive, discriminatory and predatory financial schemes.  For over a decade, we have called upon regulators to reign in predatory lenders and make it harder to originate toxic mortgages.  For over a decade, we have fought hard for meaningful and effective reform of the mortgage market.

Today, we are grateful that our call for financial reform was not ignored and that it included key civil rights safeguards.  This critical piece of legislation brings us one step closer to improving the financial landscape for millions of Americans.  While not perfect, the legislation does provide major changes that the civil rights community has long championed.  Chief among these is the establishment of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which includes an Office of Fair Lending, tasked with the primary focus of developing and implementing fair rules for the road so that consumers will not be taken advantage of when they try to purchase a home, buy a car, or obtain a credit card.

This is an important day – but our work is not done.  Our organizations pledge to work with the Senate and the House to reconcile the bills they both have passed.  

National Fair Housing Alliance (www.nationalfairhousing.org) – Founded in 1988, the National Fair Housing Alliance is a consortium of more than 220 private, non-profit fair housing organizations, state and local civil rights groups, and individuals from 37 states and the District of Columbia.  Headquartered in Washington, D.C., NFHA, through comprehensive education, advocacy and enforcement programs, provides equal access to housing for millions of people.

SOURCE National Fair Housing Alliance