Race, Ethnicity, and Lending in Urban Florida
Laws designed to protect minorities seeking mortgage loans have been in effect for decades. Both the 1968 Fair Housing Act and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act of 1974 make it illegal for lenders to discriminate against loan applicants on the basis of race, color, or national origin. Further, the Community Reinvestment Act of 1977 requires lenders to meet the credit needs of the entire community in which they operate, including low-income areas. This act is designed to prevent "spatial discrimination" by making it illegal for lenders to ignore poor, inner-city neighborhoods, which are often populated by minority groups.