new state research suggests that mortgage lenders are discriminating against minorities in Syracuse and creating barriers to home ownership among people of color.
About 18.7% of the population of the Syracuse metropolitan area is non-white, yet lenders, on average, give 8.7% of loans to borrowers who identify as people of color, according to a report released today by the state’s Department of Financial Services. going.
The state said it looked at data from Syracuse’s Home Mortgage Disclosure Act from 2016 to 2019.
The data reveals a “continued lack of financing for people of color and people in major and minority communities,” the report said.
The Financial Services Department said it found no violations of the Fair Lending Act in the Syracuse area. However, two lenders have agreed with the state to improve support for people of color and those living in major and minority areas.
Those lenders, 1st Priority Mortgage and Premium Mortgage Corp., said they would reform their lending practices to improve access to underserved communities in central and western New York state, state officials said. said.
Governor Kathy Hochol, who released the report, pledged to step up efforts to combat housing discrimination.
“This report highlights the barriers that communities of color, who have historically faced discrimination when seeking mortgages, continue to face in realizing their homeownership dreams,” said Ho Chul. said in a statement.
She said the state is developing new regulations to extend oversight to non-bank mortgage lenders operating in the state. These draft regulations are expected to be published next year.
The state study examined lending practices in Syracuse, Rochester and Long Island as part of an ongoing statewide initiative.
In Syracuse, the Financial Services Department said it found no evidence of fair lending law violations or willful discrimination.
However, the state concluded that the First Priority Mortgage Corporation and Premium Mortgage Corporation’s fair lending and compliance programs were weak.
As part of the agreement with the state, First Priority Mortgages are required to provide a discount or subsidy of at least $150,000 for loans in real estate located in majority minority neighborhoods. These areas are places where one or more racial, ethnic, or religious minorities make up the majority of the population.
Premium Mortgage Corporation has agreed to provide at least $500,000 in closing cost assistance or discounts and grants to borrowers in majority-minority areas.