IT'S ALL SIMPLY MONEY AND PROFITEERING OFF US OLD FOLKS!
Below we see where a TRADE DEAL supposedly keeps a Canadian government from stepping in to stop this abuse of Chinese senior citizens in a CANADIAN FOREIGN ECONOMIC ZONE in British Columbia. This is of course the same thing happening in US FOREIGN ECONOMIC ZONES.
Trade Deal Ups Risks in Chinese Firm’s Takeover of Seniors’ Care Giant
FIPA means province could be blocked from improving care standards for residents.
By Scott Sinclair and Stuart Trew 27 Feb 2017 | TheTyee.ca
'The state of support for seniors in British Columbia is already shameful.
Mackenzie’s annual review found only 15 per cent of facilities were meeting the guideline of 3.36 hours of direct care per resident per day — an improvement over the previous year'.
'The ripple effect of #XiJinping seizing control of Chinese global giant #Anbang, amid corruption&fraud charges, is felt across the #PacificRim. @paulwillcocks @TheTyee: How the #Chinese Government Took Control of #BritishColumbia Seniors’ Homes'
And here is that MENTAL HEALTH super-sized funding by Obama and Clinton neo-liberals in Affordable Care Act at work just the way we KNOW it was meant to
'Perhaps as a result, “25 per cent of residents were prescribed antipsychotic medications without a diagnosis of psychosis,” Mackenzie noted. Almost half — 48 per cent — were on antidepressants, even though only 24 per cent had been diagnosed with depression'.
How the Chinese Government Took Control of BC Seniors’ Homes
And why the Anbang saga is a symbol of our indifference to seniors’ support.
By Paul Willcocks Yesterday | TheTyee.ca
Ultimate decisions about 21 B.C. seniors’ residences were made in Anbang’s Beijing headquarters — now controlled by the Chinese government.
Photo by Julien GONG Min, Creative Commons licensed.
Great. The lives of seniors in B.C. care homes, where they are already over-drugged and under-supported, now depend in part on the Chinese government.
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Last year, Anbang spent an estimated $1 billion to buy Residential Concepts, which operates 21 seniors homes in British Columbia. It’s the biggest private provider in the province, collecting $87 million from the provincial government in 2015/16.
Anbang has no experience in seniors care. Its finances were murky and ownership so tangled as to be incomprehensible. It offered no promises of additional investment in the company or increased employment. Concerns about its business practices were already widespread.
But to promote its pro-China agenda, the Trudeau government turned a blind eye to the risks — and shifted them to seniors. Ottawa quickly approved the takeover, and the provincial government offered no objections and transferred operating licences to the Chinese company.
Last week’s Chinese government takeover is no surprise. When the sale was debated in the House of Commons, Conservative Mark Strahl asked what would happen “when the Anbang house of cards finally collapses.”
“Are seniors about to find out that their landlord is actually the People’s Republic of China?” the Chilliwack-Hope MP asked.
And that is exactly what seniors and their families have learned.
Why does it matter? The B.C. government went along with the deal because it said Anbang would still have to meet provincial standards.
But if one of the 21 residences needs significant improvements, where will the money come from? Lenders won’t be keen; the managers running Anbang for the Chinese government aren’t likely to let subsidiaries increase debt when they fear it’s already insolvent.
If the Chinese government’s goal is to save Anbang, what pressure will be put on its global properties to deliver more cash, and how will that affect residents? As one small example, Seniors Advocate Isobel Mackenzie reported last month that food costs in seniors’ residences across the province varied from $4.92 to $18.44 a day, averaging $8. Will Chinese government pressure force managers to cut costs on basics?
And if Anbang does end up insolvent, as the Chinese government fears, what happens to Retirement Concepts and its residents? (Retirement Concepts issued a statement saying the “temporary change in management at Anbang will not impact the operations, staff or residents.”)
In a Tyee article last year, Scott Sinclair and Stuart Trew offered their prediction if “the company faces liquidity problems, because it has overpaid for foreign acquisitions, for example, or Chinese regulators clamp down on risky insurance products.” It would then try to extract more money from subsidiaries like Retirement Concepts, they warned.
The state of support for seniors in British Columbia is already shameful.
Mackenzie’s annual review found only 15 per cent of facilities were meeting the guideline of 3.36 hours of direct care per resident per day — an improvement over the previous year.
The number sounds abstract. But the reality is that a lack of staff to meet residents’ needs translates into dramatic reductions in quality of life — sitting in soiled diapers, simply because no one is available to help you to the bathroom, showering once a week or less often. And there is the simple lack of someone to talk to for a few minutes, as overworked staff try to keep residences running.
Perhaps as a result, “25 per cent of residents were prescribed antipsychotic medications without a diagnosis of psychosis,” Mackenzie noted. Almost half — 48 per cent — were on antidepressants, even though only 24 per cent had been diagnosed with depression.
And the government has steadily been reducing the hours of home care support for eligible seniors, even though that is the most cost-effective way to keep them healthy and in their homes.
The Anbang deal is the natural continuation of the BC Liberals’ ideological commitment to hand seniors care over to private companies striving to maximize return for their owners.
A 2017 Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives report noted that between 2001 and 2016, the number of long-term care beds provided by non-profits and the health authorities was cut by more than 10 per cent. The number of spaces provided by for-profit companies increased by 42 per cent. BC Liberal policies promoted for-profit care.
Trade Deal Ups Risks in Chinese Firm’s Takeover of Seniors’ Care Giant
Mackenzie’s report suggests that might be good for companies, but bad for seniors. Last year, 33 per cent of facilities owned and operated by a health authority met the care guidelines, hardly a great record. But among contract residences — including the private businesses — the number was four per cent.
The new government took a significant step to address the problem in this month’s budget, providing $548 million over three years “to improve services for seniors across the continuum, including investments in primary care, home and community care, residential care, and assisted living.” A focus will be on ensuring residences, which serve 28,000 people, provide the recommended number of hours of care.
But we have miles to go. And the Anbang saga — especially governments’ willingness to allow a high-risk Chinese takeover of a Canadian business — show how much our attitude to the importance of seniors’ support needs to change.
We have discussed in detail MOVING FORWARD FAR-RIGHT AUTHORITARIAN DEEP STATE brings these Chinese-style methods of population control and they are being placed under the terms REHABILITATION and THERAPEUTIC. This segue from public health to housing will come with only a reminder to our seniors and to our pipeline to prison population ------the use of PHARMA will be repressive and repressive. The rehabilitation of youth and young adults will be dormitory forced labor and the rehabilitation of our seniors will be PHARMA as control towards hospice. When we see the article below state 'antipsychotic medications' are being used there is always LSD VIRTUAL REALITY therapy to send our seniors off without a clue.
We will note with this article towards housing policy------British Columbia was the first to go ONE WORLD ONE FOREIGN ECONOMIC ZONE becoming more Asian than British or European and we still see SEGREGATED HOUSING for Asian seniors with the building privatized to OLD WORLD ASIAN MERCHANTS OF VENICE GLOBAL 1%.
Trudeau PRETENDING he has no power to protect these global citizens inside a FOREIGN ECONOMIC ZONE according to TRADE DEALS. Remember, these TPP deals are illegal and UNCONSTITUTIONAL and can be VOIDED easy peasy. These conditions of no US Rule of Law inside US FOREIGN ECONOMIC ZONES as here in CANADIAN have been in place these few decades of CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA----global banking 1% are simply MOVING FORWARD with openly ending national sovereignty.
Trade Deal Ups Risks in Chinese Firm’s Takeover of Seniors’ Care Giant
FIPA means province could be blocked from improving care standards for residents.
By Scott Sinclair and Stuart Trew 27 Feb 2017 | TheTyee.ca
The federal government has approved the sale of one of B.C.’s largest seniors’ care home chains to a Beijing-based conglomerate with a “murky” ownership structure, to say the least.
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The minister’s benign assessment contrasts sharply with the controversy attending recent Chinese acquisitions in the U.S. and Europe. Over the last year, regulatory concerns have led to the cancellation of more than 30 deals worth $75 billion, according to the Financial Times, including Anbang’s attempted $1-billion acquisition of a landmark California hotel.
Beyond these corporate intrigues — and that awkward Nov. 7 “cash for access” meeting at which host Miaofei Pan “made the case to the prime minister to allow Chinese investment in seniors’ care and real estate development” — Canada’s controversial 2012 investment treaty with China clearly raises some important issues with respect to the takeover.
The first is how the Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement provides Cedar Tree, and its Anbang backers, an extrajudicial means to contest new regulations, such as those to protect vulnerable seniors, ensure quality of care or maintain adequate training and staffing levels in the fast-growing private retirement home industry.
Another is how the web of investment protections in the FIPA and similar deals shifts the risk of such cross-border deals going bust from foreign investors to Canadian taxpayers.
Canada’s retirement and long-term care system is under-regulated in many provinces. An investigation by the CTV News show W5 found at least 1,500 cases of staff-to-resident abuse in homes across Canada in 2013, a number the news program claimed to be low due to under-reporting. Retirement Concepts, B.C.’s biggest private provider, has faced complaints in the past, including staffing shortages and the use of subcontracting to fire and then rehire employees at lower wages.
When shareholder profits become a priority for essential services, quality of care tends to decline. A 2016 study by Dr. Margaret McGregor of Vancouver comparing international experiences with long-term care found that for-profit facilities consistently provided poorer service. “There is this conflict of interest between the profit motive and actually spending money on things like staffing,” she said.
Unfortunately, the B.C. government has embraced the private sector rather than look to public or not-for-profit options for meeting increasing demand for seniors’ care.
B.C. Finance Minister Mike de Jong told the Globe and Mail he’s not worried about the sale of Retirement Concepts to a Chinese company, since no matter who owns the service they must follow provincial standards.
But here’s where the FIPA, signed by former prime minister Stephen Harper in 2012 and ratified in 2014, makes an already murky situation even murkier.
As the CCPA and other critics of the investment treaty have pointed out, if an established Chinese investor objects to stronger regulations (e.g., stricter training requirements, staffing levels or standards of care in retirement homes), the FIPA gives it the option to sue the Canadian government before unaccountable tribunals that are outside the Canadian legal system and courts. Such tribunals are not concerned with whether those regulations are consistent with Canadian law and norms, but only whether they were “necessary,” applied in an “arbitrary” manner or violate some other aspect of the FIPA’s broadly worded investor rights.
Deals like Anbang’s takeover of Retirement Concepts add a whole other layer of profit maximization to the private health care sector. As McGregor and Dr. Lisa Ronald explained in a commentary in the Toronto Star, “the likely scenario is that Anbang will lease the properties back to Retirement Concepts, the previous private for-profit owner, who will continue to provide the services.” Anbang’s sole interest is in a stream of rising rents, in large part to finance its wildly popular high-yielding investment products.
You don’t have to be a financial wizard to see that if the company faces liquidity problems, because it has overpaid for foreign acquisitions, for example, or Chinese regulators clamp down on risky insurance products, it must then squeeze its tenants, including Retirement Concepts. This deeply flawed sale-and-lease-back business model led, in 2011, to the bankruptcy and collapse of Southern Cross, Britain’s largest care homes operator with more than 31,000 residents.
When the hard times inevitably hit, provincial regulators must step up standards and enforcement to prevent cost cutting on the backs of seniors.
If a FIPA tribunal were to find that new regulations undermined the value of the company’s investment, Canadian taxpayers would be left holding the bag. For example, requirements to reinvest revenues in improved staffing, training, equipment or facilities could be construed as violating the foreign investor’s right to freely transfer funds back to China or the FIPA’s minimum standard of treatment obligation.
Future moves by the province to reverse direction toward more stable not-for-profit and public delivery of long-term care services can be challenged by Anbang’s Cedar Tree subsidiary as a form of expropriation or violation of the firm’s right to “fair and equitable treatment” under FIPA. Again, the validity of such a claim and the amount of any compensation due will be determined not in Canadian courts, but by a private investment tribunal. Canada is already the most sued developed country under similar rules in NAFTA.
Finally, legislation now before the Senate to implement CETA, the Canada–EU free trade deal, would raise the threshold for reviewing all foreign investments (not just those by European investors) from $600 million to $1.5 billion. In future, a takeover like that of Retirement Concepts, which has been valued at $1 billion, might escape scrutiny altogether.
Breaking Down the Harm to Canada Done by Treaty with China
In that case, the government would not even have the right to put modest (and difficult to enforce) conditions on the new buyer, as Canada has attempted to do in this case.
In the eagerness to portray Canada as open for business and to lock in binding foreign investor rights, we must ask who is looking after the interests of vulnerable groups such as seniors, employees in the private health care sector, or indeed the Canadian taxpayer? A publicly financed, not-for-profit solution to the rising demand for long-term care is by far the better option. It would create high-quality care, decent-paying jobs and benefit from greater accountability.
Unfortunately, Canada’s trade agreements from NAFTA onwards, including FIPA with China and CETA, present real barriers to achieving this. Anbang would be able to sue or threaten to sue Canada for decisions made by B.C. to improve its long-term care system. These extra-judicial rights are not available to domestic companies and certainly not to citizens.
People should be concerned about who is running Canada’s long-term care and retirement homes. There are a lot of issues with providers already — Canadian or otherwise — and we need better regulations to deal with their infractions.
The deal may yet fall through. Various B.C. regional health authorities have still to decide whether operating licences should be granted to the new owners. Opposition parties are questioning why the federal government approved it, with Conservative MP Cathy McLeod asking the House of Commons Thursday why Prime Minister Justin Trudeau “put the care of our parents and grandparents at the mercy of profiteers pulling strings from Beijing?”
The rights Anbang and Cedar Tree have under the FIPA to frustrate public interest regulation and shift risk to Canadian taxpayers lend added urgency to that question.
We usually discuss these senior and pipeline to prison housing issues under civil rights and justice public policy so we simply want what is a huge number of US citizens incarcerated during ZERO TOLERANCE to understand how these NEW INNOVATIVE REHABILITATIVE policies pushed by 5% GREEK JUDGES is tied to what we see with senior housing in Canada soon to be US.
Senior housing is becoming that DORMITORY LIVING as telemedicine becomes the only contact with doctors seniors can access and small dormitory size efficiencies are all they can afford. So too will this same housing be doled to our pipeline to prison rehabilitation citizens----this is what global banking 1% call AFFORDABLE HOUSING. It's all industrial corporate campus control and will be outside all of what US citizens think of as US RULE OF LAW---CIVIL RIGHTS, CIVIL LIBERTIES----US CONSTITUTION.
You will notice that CANADA as US seniors have paid plenty of money into retirements and health savings to live a simply but developed nation quality of life---but those savings have been allowed to be stolen during ROBBER BARON GLOBAL 1% FRAUDS.
The 5% freemason/Greeks will first be handed these 'housing' businesses for seniors and pipeline to prison young adults but the goal will have all that business in the hands of global investment firms. Here in Baltimore all our public housing is already being transferred to global investment firms.
The rare prison-reform documentary that listens to the jailers as well as the jailed18 individuals tell 18 different stories of their experiences within the criminal justice system
Rachel Leah10.26.2017•4:34 PM
The United States' prison population has surpassed 2 million. One in three black men are expected to go to prison in their lifetime, compared to one in 17 white men. One out of every 115 adults, black, white and otherwise, is incarcerated.
The statistics are harrowing, frightening even. But lost in those numbers is the more human notion that America's enormous and expensive prison system is populated and operated by individual, thinking, caring people.
That is what a new film series released today, called "We Are Witnesses," wants viewers to remember. Created by the criminal-justice platform The Marshall Project, in partnership with Participant Media, The New Yorker and Condé Nast Entertainment, "We Are Witnesses" features 18 individuals telling 18 different stories of their experiences with the criminal-justice system.
Marhsall Project founder and "We Are Witnesses" executive producer, Neil Barsky, told Salon that by diving into a series of intimate interviews, the project attempts to "convey the enormity and the tragedy of the criminal justice ecosystem." He calls it "a 360 degree look at the millions and millions of people whose lives are impacted by our system of crime and punishment."
Yes, that means getting face to face with the prisoners in the system and those who have made their way out of it. But that also means listening to often-unheard voices, ones that may be disquieting to prison reform advocates.
There's the Rikers corrections officer, who relays how terrifying it is to walk the prison's halls, the victims of crime, the retired federal judge overwhelmed by his caseload, and a retired police officer. "I wanted to show that while a system could be corrupt and corrupting, the people involved can be noble," Barsky says. "I don’t see this as a good versus evil institution — mass incarceration — I see it as a perversion of justice."
Some of the stories are more familiar. There's Erica Garner, the daughter of Eric Garner, who was killed by a police officer in 2014 when he was put in a chokehold. There's the late Venida Browder, the mother of Kalief Browder who committed suicide after he was held in Rikers Island under abominable conditions for three years without trial for allegedly stealing a backpack. There's Yusef Salaam, a member of the wrongfully convicted Central Park Five, innocent teenagers President Donald Trump notoriously wanted put to death.
But then there's also Steve Osborne, a retired NYPD police officer, who tries to convey what it means to be a cop. "There's no room for error," he tells the camera. "Nobody wants to hear that you made a mistake." He counters Erica Garner's viewing of the video of her father's death, defending the officer responsible.
And this happens throughout the films: while many of the stories overlap when it comes to trauma and severity of punishment, others contradict them. "The idea of this, is let the viewer decide," Barsky says. "I still believe that showing all perspectives is a much more powerful way of changing minds."
"We Are Witnesses" isn't trying to draw conclusions for you, but it is urgent to make people understand the personal and national costs of such an ineffective, often inhumane system. "The criminal justice system, by its very nature, isolates and demonizes those behind bars and those guarding them," Barsky says. Nonetheless, he says "I think across the board there’s a growing awareness that mass incarceration should be seen as a crisis, but because it’s been going on for so long, it’s seen as the status quo. 'We Are Witnesses' is one way to address that."
What we are seeing in stats like this and although these stats always create separate stats for our black 99% these stats and the SKEWED DATA is the same for our 99% white Baltimore citizens. First we notice that what is being called good is not really good. LIVING WAGE has $30,000 a year as poverty line for individuals----it has $58,000 for family of four being poverty line. In Baltimore poverty line for family of four is around $21,000. So, the QUALITY OF LIFE tied to an AMERICAN CITIZEN is falling fast.
We were speaking to a Baltimore woman low-income saying she owned 3 houses. What we have in Baltimore is a growing GLOBAL LABOR POOL LABOR BROKER/CHOP SHOP HOUSING controlled by 5% freemason/Greeks being paid PATRONAGE funds from our pols and global Baltimore Development 'labor and justice' organizations to grow global labor pool and US citizens as global labor pool density. Someone 'owns' a house today and not several years from now. Housing is constantly DYNAMIC.
This home-ownership and self-employed stat is tied to these global labor broker/senior housing policies.
ABSOLUTELY NO EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EQUAL ACCESS HOUSING HAPPENING IN BALTIMORE NOW OR THESE FEW DECADES.
As the subprime mortgage loan targeted our low-income communities of color----so to does this global labor broker/senior care housing.
'No. 4: Baltimore, Md.
Median Household Income: $53,231
Home Ownership Rate: 44.6%
Share Who Are Self-Employed: 17.1%
Change In Population, 2010-16: 4.6%'
As housing in US cities deemed Foreign Economic Zone move towards extreme wealth extreme poverty----small city center for global 1% and their 2% we are seeing global corporate campuses with high wealth with our majority of low and working class citizens being in constant flux tied to temporary housing to live or own.
This same housing ownership data skewing these few decades also showed in the subprime mortgage loan frauds where anyone with a pulse was placed into homeownership knowing FORECLOSURE was coming. We can have better GOALS for our 99% of black, white, and brown citizens.
Cities Where African-Americans Are Doing The Best Economically 2018
The 2007 housing crisis was particularly tough on African-Americans, as well as Hispanics, extinguishing much of their already minuscule wealth. Industrial layoffs, particularly in the Midwest, made things worse.
However the rising economic tide of the past few years has started to lift more boats. The African-American unemployment rate fell to 6.8% in December, the lowest level since the government started keeping tabs in 1972. Although that’s 3.1 percentage points worse than whites, the gap is the slimmest on record. A tightening labor market since 2015 has also driven up wages of black workers, many of whom are employed in manufacturing and other historically middle and lower-wage service industries.
The gains have not been evenly spread. To determine where African-Americans are faring the best economically, we evaluated America’s 53 largest metropolitan statistical areas based on three critical factors that we believe are indicators of middle-class success: the home ownership rate as of 2016; entrepreneurship, as measured by the self-employment rate in 2017; and 2016 median household income. In addition, we added a fourth category, demographic trends, measuring the change in the African-American population from 2010 to 2016 in these metro areas, to judge how the community is “voting with its feet.” Each factor was given equal weight.
We will discuss in detail the MOVING FORWARD live where you work to see all US civil rights to housing ---all Federal HUD housing funds tied to equal opportunity and access being thrown aside----although the US Constitution and all the Federal laws require it-----under this global banking 1% TALKING POINT of LIVING WHERE YOU WORK.
Here is NJ TRENTON looking just like MD BALTIMORE installing all these MOVING FORWARD housing policies and look---this is WELLS FARGO-----leading in our US CITY HOUSING after these few decades of being top gun subprime mortgage loan fraud vendor.
WE ARE BEING TOLD LIVING WHERE YOU WORK IS SUSTAINABILITY WHILE IT IS SIMPLY BEING USED BY FAR-RIGHT WING GLOBAL BANKING 1% TO UNDERMINE ALL US HOUSING POLICY AND LAWS FROM LAST CENTURY.
BUT I WANT TO LIVE IN THIS NEIGHBORHOOD! Sorry, we are being sustainable you must work at the global corporate campus to live here.
Live Where You Work Trenton
The City of Trenton has partnered with the NJ Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (HMFA) to become the first Live Where You Work community!!
What is Live Where You Work Trenton?
Live Where You Work Trenton is a special home mortgage incentive program that provides low-interest mortgage loans to homebuyers who work in Trenton and who are looking to purchase a home in Trenton. The goal of the program is to...
(1) strengthen our neighborhoods and increase community involvement through homeownership;
(2) attract individuals who work in Trenton to also live in our City; and
(3) develop positive relationships between Trenton and members of the local business and residential communities.
As a result, homebuyers who both work and want to live in Trenton will be able to take advantage of the Live Where You Work program incentives.
What are the benefits of Live Where You Work Trenton?
The primary benefits of Live Where You Work Trenton include:
• Low-interest mortgages for homebuyers
• Downpayment and closing cost assistance for the purchase of a home
• More flexible underwriting criteria for the loan qualification process
Additional incentives are available to homebuyers buying in one of Trenton’s Urban Target Area neighborhoods. To find out if your prospective home falls within Trenton's Urban Target Area neighborhoods, please click on Target Area to confirm. The incentives include the following:
• Homebuyers do not have to be first time homebuyers
• Enhanced maximum income limits and purchase price limits
MAXIMUM INCOME LIMITS
Urban Target Area
MAXIMUM PURCHASE PRICE LIMITS
New 1 family
New 2 Family
Existing 1 Family
Existing 2 Family
Existing 3 Family
Existing 4 Family
Urban Target Area
Where are properties for sale in the City of Trenton?
The City of Trenton would like to offer all prospective buyers an opportunity to research available properties for sale within its city borders. If you would like to research this information further, please feel free to visit our FREE home search tool by clicking on available city properties or visit the HMFA’s Housing Resource Center at http://www.njhousing.gov/ and find out more about available housing opportunities.
In addition, please take a look at new developments impacting our city including the beautiful Goat Hill Development, and other showcase properties!
When can homebuyers begin to take advantage of the program?
Homebuyers can obtain a Live Where You Work mortgage today. Contact 1-800-NJHOUSE for information on participating lenders. In addition, Trenton has partnered with GMAC to bring additional lending benefits to the program.
IS THIS THE GM FINANCIAL ARM THAT WENT BANKRUPT FROM PARTICIPATING IN SUBPRIME MORTGAGE FRAUD?
For more information on the GMAC partnership, please click on GMAC incentive program for further details or contact a GMAC representative at (856) 797-2121.
In addition, Wells Fargo Home Mortgage is an approved lender for the LWYW program, for more information on financing options, contact directly Lillian Hernandez at 609-278-3854 x101 or by mobile 609-658-7607 and click on the logo below.
If you are interested in learning about the Live Where You Work mortgage program, please call 1-800- NJHOUSE or click on Live Where You Work.
Equal Housing Opportunity - HUD
www.hud.gov/program_offices/fair_housing_equal... What we do. The Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity administers federal laws and establishes national policies that make sure all Americans have equal access ...
If cash back on purchase sounds like a global banking product merchandising ploy to deregulate our mortgage lending laws and create so many different lending schemes----COMPLEX FINANCIAL INSTRUMENTS------then this is indeed the goal.
Remember, MOVING FORWARD development in our US mid-size cities come first to need more middle/affluent class US and immigrant citizens able to infuse more TAXES, FEES, AND FINES. The US Treasury and municipal bond market fraud has over $12 trillion in bond debt that global banking intends to suck from this coming decade's new urban homeowners. Get them here---get them in a house----then forget all those INCENTIVES.
Baltimore has had a global market DYNAMIC to its population these few decades leaving communities to fail and never having real connections......it is now going to become far worse.
CASH BACK FOR YOU CAR----CASH BACK FOR JOINING A NEW CREDIT CARD ---CASH BACK FOR BUYING A HOUSE. LOT'S OF SUBSIDY AND CASH BACK---WHAT COULD GO WRONG?
Getting you the Pre-Approval letter that your Realtor will need so you can write an offer on your dream home.
HOME POINT FINANCIAL AFFINITY PROGRAM CAN GET YOU CASH BACK ON YOUR NEW HOME PURCHASE!ASK US HOW MUCH YOU QUALIFY FOR
HOME POINT FINANCIAL877-902-6636
Ready To Lend
What we see below was a mortgage lending policy written as Bush was exiting after being ROBBER BARON -IN-CHIEF of massive subprime mortgage loan fraud. 99% of WE THE PEOPLE are being told by the title of this policy SAFE ACT that this was about shaking out those bad characters from the mortgage lending market. As the article below shows it seems to only shake out the single property buyer that maybe flips a few houses ----or a single buyer wanting to buy property to hand to a second homeowner. MOM AND POP buys a house for their child ----someone buys a house for another for business purposes.
Indeed, the house flippers were a problem in subprime mortgage frauds but those flippers were usually those mortgage lending institutions handing money for mortgages greater than this 2-3 limit each year. It is the casual property flipper-----someone fixes a decaying house and acts as agent to sell that has been included in property and mortgage law for several centuries. What about those homeowners wanting to be a OWNER SALE to sidestep real estate agents offering terms to new owners not tied to mortgage loans ----as the new owner paying the old owner monthly using the revenue from renting floors or rooms.
It is this OWNER AS REALTOR power that takes total control of real estate sales from what are very captured real estate agencies in US CITIES DEEMED FOREIGN ECONOMIC ZONES.
'Four years ago the home loan industry allowed anyone--including criminals--to broker mortgages as long as they coughed up a filing fee and took refuge under an employer's license. These days new applicants must sit for 20 hours and existing brokers for 8 hours of education. Everyone must pass federal and state tests as well as credit and criminal background screenings. These days states even fingerprint mortgage brokers'.
When we read BUSH-ERA SAFE ACT we see all kinds of references to these small real estate transfers as the problem in mortgage loan origination ------WHICH IS A LIE. The mortgage loan originators many in Silicon Valley and Seattle were MERS TITLE MILLS-----none of these SAFE ACT laws now being installed in each state addresses the GORILLA-IN-THE-ROOM mortgage loan fraud debacle.
'Federal Secure and Fair Enforcement Mortgage Licensing Act of 2008'.
'The repeal of this exemption significantly affects the private loan industry and hard money lending'.
The Blog of the Real Property Section of the Maryland State Bar Association
Important Changes to the Maryland Mortgage Lender LawJanuary 29, 2014
· by Ground Rules · in Legislative, Security Interests
· Lynne T. Krause, attorney and founding partner of Krause & Ferris in Annapolis, provided the following report on changes to licensing requirements under the Maryland Mortgage Lender Law:
During the 2012 Maryland General Assembly session, a little-noticed piece of legislation repealed the exemption from licensing in the Maryland Mortgage Lender Law (“MMLL”) for a mortgage lender who makes “3 or fewer” residential mortgage loans in a year. The amendment to Md. Code, Fin. Inst., §11-501 et seq. went into effect January 1, 2013. The repeal of this exemption significantly affects the private loan industry and hard money lending. According to the Fiscal and Policy Note for this bill from the Department of Legislative Services, the primary purpose of the bill is to make the Maryland Mortgage Loan Law comply with the Federal Secure and Fair Enforcement Mortgage Licensing Act of 2008 (“SAFE Act).
The MMLL is a complicated statute, with most of its provisions relating to licensing of mortgage lenders. The statute generally states that a person must be licensed to make a residential mortgage or deed of trust loan unless that person is exempt from licensing.
The 2012 amendment eliminated the exemption from licensing for a lender who made three or fewer mortgage loans per year. The Maryland Department of Legislative Services in their Fiscal and Policy Note states that since there was no exemption in the SAFE Act for persons who are unlicensed making three or fewer loans per year, they made this change. The 2012 amendment also eliminated a similar exemption for a broker of residential mortgage loans who brokered no more than one loan per calendar year.
Md. Code, Fin. Inst., §11-502 retained other exemptions from licensing that were previously in the statute. Those exemptions include mortgage loans by: (a) nonprofit charitable organizations or religious organization; (b) loans by an employer to an employee; (c) loans to a borrower who is a person’s “spouse, child, parent, sibling, grandparent, grandchild, or grandchild’s spouse;” (d) real estate brokers who make a mortgage loan to facilitate a purchase of real estate brokered by the lender provided it has a repayment schedule of two years or less to assist a borrower in purchasing a dwelling; and (e) a licensed Maryland home improvement contractor who assigns a mortgage loan without recourse within 30 days after completion of the contract.
The 2012 amendment also revised certain definitions of loans that the MMLL covered. The MLLL previously defined a “mortgage loan” as a loan for personal household or family purposes in any amount that was secured by an interest in residential real property in Maryland, or if it was a commercial loan secured by residential real estate, not in excess of $75,000.00 and was supported by independent evidence of the commercial purpose.” The new definition of a “mortgage loan” regulated by the MMLL is “any loan primarily for personal, family, or household use that is secured by a mortgage, deed of trust, or other equivalent consensual security interest on a dwelling or residential real estate on which is dwelling is constructed or intended to be constructed.”
The definitional change to “mortgage loan” was taken directly from the Model State Statute complying with the SAFE Act. Now if a residential mortgage loan has a specific commercial purpose, and was not a loan “primarily for personal, family, or household use” then such a loan is no longer covered by the MMLL notwithstanding the amount of the loan. However, in making such a loan it is very important to document what that commercial purpose is to be if the loan is secured by residential real estate.
As many of you know, banks, savings institutions, and credit unions are generally not required to be licensed in the State of Maryland to make mortgage loans. Also, the MMLL does not apply to a deferred purchase money mortgage in connection with the sale of a dwelling or residential real estate for a residence that the seller built and then resold, such as in a situation in which a builder purchases a lot, builds a home on it, and then sells it, taking back a purchase money mortgage deed of trust. (Md. Code, Fin. Inst., § 11-502(c))
This is a fairly complicated statute and it is important that you read it carefully if you are to handle a transaction arguably covered by this statute. The penalties for violating this statute as detailed in Md. Code, Fin. Inst., §11-523 make it a felony for a person to “willfully” violate this statute. The penalties for a conviction could mean imprisonment for up to 10 years and a fine of up to $50,000.00. Also as additional financial penalties, any unlicensed person “who is not exempt from licensing under this subtitle who makes or assists a borrower in obtaining a mortgage loan in violation of the subtitle may collect only the principal amount of the loan and may not collect any interest, costs, finders fee’s, broker’s fees, or other charges with respect to the loan.” (Emphasis added.)
All the legalese tied to this Bush era SAFE ACT now coming down to our state and local real estate sales policies are written to make one think our SELLING OUR OWN HOME is not off the shelf when indeed it appears that IS the intent of these laws.
'In fact, a mortgage loan originator is defined in Section 1503 (3)(A)(i) of the SAFE Act as "an individual who takes a residential mortgage loan application; and offers or negotiates terms of a residential mortgage loan for compensation or gain."
'This definition is the cause of much of the confusion amongst investors who think that they can no longer sell real estate and finance the purchase themselves without a license from their state'.
Most concern comes from small real estate developers buying and acting as sellers in flipping houses 1-3 houses a year. What WE are concerned with for 99% of WE THE PEOPLE is the freedom to decide if we are going to be SALE BY OWNER ----able to control the sale of our own personal property acting as real estate broker.
THIS IS WHAT IS UNDER ATTACK. WHEN INDIVIDUAL CITIZENS LOSE THE CONTROL OF SELLING THEIR HOMES TO WHOM THEY WANT HOW THEY WANT-----WE LOSE THE ABILITY TO EQUAL OPPORTUNITY AND ACCESS.
As this article states these SAFE ACT laws are written as usual very hard to define -----and state's assuring these EXEMPTION GROUPS historically recognized are using vague language as well.......WE DON'T KNOW HOW THIS WILL BE INTERPRETED.
'Accordingly, many Land Contracts are subject to the new rules, despite prior information to the contrary'.
Hmmmm, this SAFE ACT does not effect any of the major player in subprime mortgage loan origination fraud---so what is it actually doing?
Land Contract Regulations: The SAFE Act Impact on Seller Financing
The Department of Housing And Urban Development (“HUD”) issued a final rule for the Secure and Fair Enforcement for Mortgage Licensing Act (“S.A.F.E. Act”), effective August 29, 2011. This article summarizes a few key sections of the new rules for the real estate community. This article is not a substitute for legal advice from a knowledgeable licensed attorney.
Real estate investors, brokers and other industry participants have repeatedly sought confirmation that they can engage in activities or transactions that are prohibited by the SAFE Act or other laws.
Neither wishful thinking nor hiding one’s head in the sand can change law or make prohibited activities lawful. Attempts to interpret the SAFE Act and the Michigan Mortgage Loan Originator Licensing Act (MLOLA) sections applicable to Land Contracts have been complicated by a disjointed law-making process, multiple sets of federal and state laws, the involvement of multiple state and federal governmental agencies, different and sometimes conflicting rules and regulations.
To make matters worse, purveyors of the legal equivalent of “snake oil” are offering real estate training based on land contracts. These “legal gurus” and their disciples have spread bad information to the real estate community.
Combine wishful thinking, bad advice from both non-lawyers and lawyers and the confusing law-making process by state and federal agencies, and the result is incomprehension and non-compliance.
Even well-intentioned, knowledgeable, ethical persons, those who always follow the law (and some who even teach the law), have been stumped in their efforts to navigate through this bewildering maze.
Many Land Contracts Are Covered as of August 29, 2011
Many real estate investors have relied on outdated guidance that land contracts are not regulated by the SAFE Act. That is now untrue. There are circumstances when a land contract might not be subject to the SAFE Act, but the presumption is that land contracts, also known as “installment sales agreements,” are subject to the SAFE Act. A significant portion of the public comments submitted on HUD’s proposed SAFE Act rules pertain to the issue of a property owner selling and financing the sale of his or her own property. Whether an owner sells a property using a deed and “take-back” mortgage, or a land contract, the transaction is subject to the new rules. The HUD rules clarify that a land contract is a “residential mortgage loan” under the SAFE Act.
The HUD SAFE Act Rule states in part:
As an initial statement, HUD confirms the commenters’ observation that a ‘‘residential mortgage loan’’ includes an installment sales contract, which the commenters advise is frequently involved in seller financing. ‘‘Residential mortgage loans,’’ as defined by section 1503(8) of the SAFE Act, refers to typical financing mechanisms such as mortgages and deeds of trusts. In addition, the SAFE Act definition also includes ‘‘other equivalent consensual security interest on a dwelling (as the term ‘dwelling’ is defined by section 103(v) of TILA) or residential real estate upon which is constructed or intended to be constructed a dwelling,’’ which has the potential for including a broad range of other financing mechanisms. For the purposes of this rule, ‘‘equivalent consensual security interests’’ specifically include installment sales contracts, consistent with the treatment by many states of such contracts in the same manner as mortgages and purchase money mortgages offered by sellers of residential real estate. While there is no formal recorded lien held by the provider of financing, the fact that the seller holds title to the property until the contract has been paid in full is the practical equivalent of a lien for purposes of the SAFE Act and its purposes and is comparable to the status of a mortgage in a state that follows title theory under mortgage law.
Accordingly, many Land Contracts are subject to the new rules, despite prior information to the contrary.
Those global banking 1% Clinton neo-liberals Dodd Frank wanting to further harm 99% of WE THE PEOPLE and our ability to own homes and property? Say it isn't so! Bush signed this SAFE ACT so we indeed know it is true.
In US cities deemed Foreign Economic Zones like Baltimore our city and state realtors have been largely part of these subprime mortgage frauds and they are largely tied to the global Wall Street development corporations MOVING FORWARD ONE WORLD for only the global 1%. But, those 5% to the 1% realtors are going under the bus as global real estate/investment firms replace all those realtor player peeps.
This article was written by a right wing realtor activist making this seem like another left policy issue when it is again FAR-RIGHT WING GLOBAL 1%. Today, we are seeing those 5% CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA pols as realtors being handed properties in pay-to-play. This policy will move forward any ability of a US citizen to buy and sell homes without what will become harder to get real estate licensing.
All of our US cities deemed Foreign Economic Zones are filling with international lawyers tied to corporate and global tribunal law----so too are those able to get real estate licenses not far ahead.
Dodd-Frank Hijacks Owner Financing
By Ric Thom
Private property owners have been swept into the regulations of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Financial Protection Act which was signed into law in July 2010. Owner financing will be regulated in Title XIV Section 1401(2) (E) Mortgage Loan Origination Standards. The law restricts private property owners who want to sell their own property using owner financing (installment sale). These are some of the consequences.
Homeowners die before they receive all of their equity under the Dodd-Frank Act.
The act requires any homeowner who sells their property using an installment sale, known as owner financing, to fully amortize the installment sale note. It does not allow any balloons to be negotiated between buyer and seller in the note. This means if you are 55 or older there is a good chance you will die before that 30 year note pays out.
Part of the purpose of the Dodd-Frank Act is to protect seniors who use or invest in financial products. The Federal government chastises insurance companies for the deplorable practice of selling seniors 30 year annuities because Ma and Pa will die before they receive their money. Yet, the Dodd-Frank act does the same thing when it mandates that you cannot receive all of your equity for 30 years. Just shortening the amortization period does not help either. How many buyers can afford the monthly payments on a ten or fifteen year amortization?
The Dodd-Frank Act strips homeowner’s of their equity
Part of the rationale for the act is to protect homeowners from having their equity stripped from them by unscrupulous lenders. Yet, the Act which mandates that an installment sale note be fully amortized over 30 years with no balloons does just that. Ma and Pa who use owner financing when they sell their property receive a note for their equity. They have the right and the ability to sell that note in the future. Anyone who purchases that note takes into consideration the time value of money. Just like bonds these notes are sold at a discount. The longer it takes for the note to pay out, the more of a discount the note holder has to take. So, if Ma and Pa need to sell that note in the future they are going to have to sell at a 30-35% discount as opposed to a 5-10% discount if it had a balloon. So, you can see that by the government mandating no balloons they have potentially stripped Ma and Pa’s equity by 20-30%. I can see the reason behind not allowing these installment sale notes to negatively amortize or to be interest only, but I don’t think allowing a balloon in 8 to 10 years is unreasonable or predatory. That gives the new buyer ample time to refinance or sell the property before the note becomes due. It is not reasonable to require Ma and Pa to wait 30 years to receive their equity, unless that is what they wish to do.
An Installment Sale is Not a Loan
Thirteen states have exempted owner financing to some degree from their Mortgage Loan Originator Act in 2009. They did this because they realize owner financing is not a loan; it is an installment sale. There is no third party lender; no points or origination fees are charged. In spite of this, Congress included owner financing in the Dodd-Frank Bill with additional regulations. Owner financing is not predatory. The seller has 100% skin in the game. Ma and Pa simply want to receive their equity over time with a reasonable interest rate. They don’t want to receive cash. They don’t want to invest in 1% CDs or in a stock market that lost 40% of its value in recent history. The sellers do not want the property back; they simply want a decent return on their money. That’s why they sold it in the first place. Today’s buyer using owner financing will most likely be tomorrow’s seller using owner financing.
The IRS does not recognize the installment sale as a loan. They view it more as a trade. The property owner is trading the property for a note, which represents the seller’s equity. The IRS only taxes the seller as they receive payments.
Yet, Ma and Pa who might have only one property which they want to sell using the installment sale method are penalized, scrutinized and regulated.
This act regulates the sale of your personal residence, your cabin in the mountains, the vacant lot next door, a rental house, a duplex, triplex and four-plex. How many of the millions of property owners are going to know that if they use owner financing they are going to have to fully amortize the note, verify and document that the buyer can qualify, and that the interest rate is supposed to be fixed for the first five years? If they sell their property and don’t comply with these restrictions, they could be fined up to $25,000 and a possible felony charge simply because they did not know of the restrictions and requirements. The 13 states which exempted owner financing realized it would be a regulatory nightmare trying to keep track of every residential transaction that property owners enter into, not to mention the cost associated with that regulation. 99% of the people who use owner financing do not make a business of selling their property using the installment sale method. It is most likely they would only sell property using on installment sale a few times during their life. But that one time might involve trying to sell four properties at the same time.
Each state has its own version of owner financing; some states use notes and mortgages, some use deeds of trust or contract for deed. Each state already has case law and state statues that set the standards for owner financing and provide the protections for buyer and seller. The Dodd-Frank Act simply adds another, conflicting layer of complexity to the simple act of selling your private property on an installment sale. The states should remain in control of owner financing.
Trying to apply the same rules and regulations and licensing requirements for banks and professional mortgage loan originators to Ma and Pa on Main Street is counterproductive. It is only going to drive owner financing underground. Buyers and sellers will still use it, but they won’t use realtors or title companies which creates opportunity for abuse where there wasn’t any before.
Is your credit good enough to sell your home?
The Act does allow a balloon in the installment sale note if Ma and Pa become mortgage loan originators. The Dodd-Frank Act restricts you to only three real estate transactions in a 12 month period where you offer owner financing terms. If you want a balloon or you want to sell a 4th property within a 12 month period using the installment sale you have to become a mortgage loan originator, which means: you have to have good credit, put up a surety bond, take 20 hours of classes on Federal and State mortgage laws, pass a national test, and take continuing education courses. 30% of mortgage brokers were unable to become mortgage loan originators because they either had poor credit or were unable to pass the test. Ma and Pa are sure to experience the same thing. Requiring a seller to take a test and have a certain credit score to transfer their private property is a slippery slope. It is an erosion of our private property rights.
This act, which is over 2000 pages and requires over 500 new rules to be written by 40 different agencies by July 2011, was meant to regulate Wall Street and protect consumers from the predatory lending practices of mortgage brokers, but has over-reached into Main Street and into the lives of Ma and Pa. Selling your own property using the installment sale method did not create the financial crisis. Including it in the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act is inappropriate. An installment sale is not a loan. This act is a limitation of the rights of property owners which will be virtually impossible to regulate. We need to ask our congressional representatives to exempt all owner-financing and return it’s regulation to the states or at the very least, to remove the draconian restrictions, in the Dodd-Frank Act.
The Act is just the framework. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has the authority to relax or expand the rules and regulations in the bill. They are in the process of reviewing the rules and regulations that do not go into effect until July 2011. Until then, it is my understanding that everyone will be following the laws of their state, but that could change come July 2011. Please write your congressional representatives, write your local board of realtors, and the National Association of Realtors or anyone else that might get the word out for Ma and Pa.
We will look at all these housing public policy this week along with what is that US CONSTITUTIONAL EQUAL PROTECTION LAW tied to Federal equal opportunity/access as below we see the completely ONE WORLD ONE GOVERNANCE for only the global 1% US Supreme Court ruled to weaken yet again those Federal housing protections.
'From a distance, the result in Inclusive Communities looks like a win'.
'That is, the use of statistics, no matter how persuasive, to show disparate impact without additional evidence creates a danger of “abusive disparate impact claims” that may hobble local governments and developers. Without strict safeguards, the opinion said, “disparate-impact liability might cause race to be used and considered in a pervasive way and ‘would almost inexorably lead’ government or private entities to use ‘numerical quotas.’”'
This current ruling hit the part to our Federal housing act still acting with some protection----disparate impact. This article makes the breakdown in these equal opportunity and access laws seem to be a white vs black issue when these laws strongly protected according to class/ cultural identity-----including 99% of white citizens.
'Disparate impact means that some policy, adopted for a non-racial reason, might end up burdening minority-housing opportunities more heavily than those provided to whites; if so, the policymaker would be required to justify the policy to a court on grounds other than race'.
When the US SUPREME COURT via this TEXAS case pushes the DISPARATE IMPACT towards how it impacts DEVELOPERS as this ruling does----we have MOVING FORWARD ONE WORLD GLOBAL CORPORATE CAMPUS AND GLOBAL FACTORIES not interested at all as to what kind of housing 99% of WE THE PEOPLE want.
What is saves is the right of global 1% as developers to access and opportunity----this has nothing to do with 99% of WE THE PEOPLE black, white, or brown citizens.
WHO APPOINTED THIS US SUPREME COURT? ROBBER BARON POLS AND PRESIDENTS? WELL, WE SIMPLY VOID THOSE APPOINTMENTS AS ILLEGAL AND REVERSE THESE RULINGS--EASY PEASY.
The U.S. Supreme Court Barely Saves the Fair Housing Act
Disparate-impact claims survived in a 5-4 decision, but the narrow opinion suggests a tough fight ahead for civil-rights laws.
Jessica Rinaldi / Reuters
- Garrett Epps
- Jun 25, 2015
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As the Supreme Court term winds down, there is discussion whether the Court is in some way drifting to the left. That narrative may take on additional steam after Thursday’s decisions--King v. Burwell, negating a far-right challenge that might have destroyed the Affordable Care Act, and Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. Inclusive Communities Project, an attempt by the state of Texas to radically scale back the scope of the federal Fair Housing Act.
Both challenges failed Thursday. But it would be a mistake to read Inclusive Communities as a “liberal” decision. Although four justices clearly wanted to radically cut back the Act, the majority--Justices Anthony Kennedy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan--signed on to an opinion narrowing it in crucial ways.
This was no ringing victory for civil rights; it was a near-death experience that may produce health problems for the Act down the road.
The issue in Inclusive Communities was whether the Act allows plaintiffs only if they can show that a government agency or private actor in renting, selling, or otherwise making housing available on the basis of race, intended to discriminate on the basis of race, or whether the Act also forbids acts that have a “disparate impact” on housing opportunities. Disparate impact means that some policy, adopted for a non-racial reason, might end up burdening minority-housing opportunities more heavily than those provided to whites; if so, the policymaker would be required to justify the policy to a court on grounds other than race.
In this case, for example, the plaintiffs produced evidence that the Texas Housing Department awarded tax credits to more developments in poor, minority areas than in areas with majority-white population. The effect, they argued, was to lock minorities into certain parts of the Dallas metro area, perpetuating and extending the area’s segregated housing patterns. The department argued that its decisions followed a complicated set of criteria generated in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and including questions like the cost of land and construction (lower in low-income areas) and “community revitalization,” meaning the economic boon that development can represent to poorer areas. The federal district court held that the agency’s non-racial justifications were not sufficient. The Court of Appeals reversed, arguing that disparate-impact claims are permitted but that these plaintiffs had not made their case.
Before that case could be reheard, however, the state of Texas asked the Supreme Court to take a radical step by reinterpreting the FHA to bar disparate-impact claims altogether. Every circuit court of appeals that had considered the issue had held that the Act permitted disparate-impact claims. But the high court granted review. The Court had granted review in two earlier cases, but both had settled at the last minute. The Texas case finally teed the issue up squarely.
“The Court acknowledges the Fair Housing Act’s continuing role in moving the Nation toward a more integrated society.”From a distance, the result in Inclusive Communities looks like a win. Writing for himself and the four moderate-liberals, Justice Kennedy explained that the disparate-impact interpretation had a lot going for it: it tracks two other Court precedents concerning the employment-discrimination provisions of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act; it has been upheld by every court of appeals to consider the issue; Congress readopted the Act in 1988 with language that seems to recognize disparate-impact liability in all but a few categories of cases; and it has become a part of the landscape of urban planning, such that many large cities—including San Francisco, New York, Boston, and Baltimore--submitted a brief asking the Court to leave the Act alone. Eliminating disparate-impact claims would thus destabilize not only other areas of civil-rights law, but also a great deal of city planning. “The Court acknowledges the Fair Housing Act’s continuing role in moving the Nation toward a more integrated society,” Kennedy concluded.
But the majority opinion is less a ringing reaffirmation than a stern warning—claims like those brought by the plaintiffs in this case, Kennedy wrote, actually might raise “serious constitutional questions.” That is, the use of statistics, no matter how persuasive, to show disparate impact without additional evidence creates a danger of “abusive disparate impact claims” that may hobble local governments and developers. Without strict safeguards, the opinion said, “disparate-impact liability might cause race to be used and considered in a pervasive way and ‘would almost inexorably lead’ government or private entities to use ‘numerical quotas.’”
Kennedy concluded that “we must remain wary of policies that reduce homeowners to nothing more than their race.” And the implication is that anything outside the “heartland” of disparate-impact liability—that is, “zoning laws and other housing restrictions that function unfairly to exclude minorities from certain neighborhoods without any sufficient justification”—would be dangerous territory.
These particular plaintiffs, the opinion made clear, almost certainly must lose on remand. Disparate impact lives on. But the lower courts have plenty of ammunition in this opinion to use against any novel use of the FHA.
If the result seems “liberal,” it is only in contrast to the dissenting opinions, which are truly radical—contemptuous both of judicial precedent and the history of executive enforcement of civil-rights laws over the past half-century. Justice Clarence Thomas, writing for himself, urged the court to begin overturning all those precedents—especially the case that originated the theory of disparate-impact liability, Griggs v. Duke Power, which used it to invalidate a neutral-seeming employment policy that had the effect of trapping black workers in laborers’ positions. The Civil Rights Act, Thomas said, didn’t justify the decision; the Court had relied on a deceitful bunch of bureaucrats at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, who schemed to enlarge the scope of the law—and their own power—by hoodwinking the Court. It is a striking argument, especially when made by the former head of the EEOC—one who, during his tenure, had tried to reorient the Commission away from the role it had played in the ‘60s and ‘70s.
Thomas concluded with a strange set of musings about racial disparities in general. Disparity is the way of the world. He quoted conservative economist Thomas Sowell to the effect that some minority groups end up running the economies of entire nations: “the Chinese in Malaysia, the Lebanese in West Africa, Greeks in the Ottoman Empire, Britons in Argentina, Belgians in Russia, Jews in Poland, and Spaniards in Chile—among many others.” Besides, he said, “over 70 percent” of players in the NBA are black.
The principal dissent, by Justice Samuel Alito writing for Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Antonin Scalia, is, a bit less eccentric but equally radical. The precedents are not worthy of respect, Alito argued. Congress may have re-enacted the Act in 1988, but its changes didn’t mean everyone supported DI; the Reagan administration had said the Act didn’t allow DI claims. HUD, which issued regulations supporting DI, was actually trying to manipulate the Court rather than expressing its “’fair and considered judgment.’”
Like Thomas, Alito pointed out that disparities are everywhere—not only in the National Football League but in the Office of the Solicitor General, which mostly sends young lawyers to argue in front of the Court.
With one more vote, these two screeds would have created a gaping hole in the fabric of civil-rights law, with malign effect far beyond housing. That Kennedy rejected that course is an occasion for relief. But if you think that the great danger facing the United States is too much separation rather than too much equality, Kennedy’s opinion is no cause for celebration. It is a slow and measured step to the right, rather than a radical one. But its direction is clear.