Former HUD Leaders Blame Mortgage Mess On Lax Enforcement

Wednesday, Dec 10, 2008  |  Updated 8:48 AM EDT
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Former HUD Leaders Blame Mortgage Mess On Lax Enforcement

AP

Some officials blame the foreclosure mess on lax enforcement.

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Foreclosures continue to ravage the Washington region. Two former officials at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development say some of the blame for the sub-prime mortgage mess is due to lax enforcement of fair housing laws.

One week after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., Congress passed the Civil Rights Act of 1968. It outlawed discrimination in renting, housing and lending. Forty years later, two former HUD secretaries say housing discrimination is still pervasive and is one reason why so many people are falling behind on their mortgages.

Henry Cisneros, along with Jack Kemp, released a 6-month investigation into the state of fair housing. Cisneros says the system is broken and points to a startling statistic: of the estimated 4,000,000 housing violations committed last year, HUD only prosecuted 31 cases. Cisneros and Kemp are calling for the creation of an independent agency that is separate from HUD to enforce housing violations.

Patrick Madden reports...

Listen to the complete story at wamu.org

Copyright 2008 WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio. All Rights Reserved.

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