Maxine Fitzpatrick Appointed to Homeownership Council

June 13, 2018 · by Travis Phillips · Featured, PCRI

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown signs HB4010. (Courtesy Gov. Brown)

On June 12, the Oregon legislature announced the appointment of 11 members, including PCRI Executive Director Maxine Fitzpatrick, to the Task Force on Addressing Racial Disparities in Home Ownership. House Bill 4010 was passed in April 2018 mandating the state to create the task force to more closely examine racial disparities in homeownership in Oregon, identify barriers, and recommend solutions to help close racial homeownership gaps.

As per the provisions of the bill, the task force must include a member representing an organization that focuses on educating and assisting people of color in purchasing homes. With PCRI and Pathway 1000’s focus on homeownership for African Americans and others, Fitzpatrick is a natural representative for this role. An additional four members represent communities that have suffered historic discrimination or who currently face barriers to homeownership.

According to the Portland Housing Bureau’s 2017 State of Housing report, homeownership rates for African Americans and other communities of color are approximately half that of White households in Portland: 54 percent or White households in Portland own their homes, but 30 percent or fewer of African American, Native American, and Hawaiian-Pacific-Islander households own their homes. In addition, Oregon’s home ownership rates for African American households trails nationwide rates for African American homeowners.

The bill was introduced by a coalition of legislators, including Task Force member Rep. Mark Meek (D-Clackamas County) and Sen. Lew Frederick (D-Northeast Portland). According to The Skanner News, the Task Force will:

  • Compile data concerning levels of homeownership among people of color in Oregon;
  • Identify barriers to homeownership that people of color in Oregon face;
  • Investigate practices and procedures for approving mortgage loans;
  • Identify discriminatory mortgage loan application and approval practices and procedures that deliberately or inadvertently discriminate against people of color;
  • Identify barriers other than access to mortgage loans or other credit that reduce or prevent home ownership among people of color;
  • Recommend solutions, including legislation, to eliminate any impermissible discrimination or barriers to homeownership and to improve other conditions that reduce or prevent home ownership among people of color in Oregon.

Other members of the Task Force include two members from the state senate (Senators Cliff Bentz and James Manning), two members from the house of representatives (Representatives Mark Meek and Richard Vial), one member representing real estate licensees, and one member representing mortgage lenders. The announcement and full list of members can be found here.

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