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Race for ProfitHow Banks and the Real Estate Industry Undermined Black Homeownership$
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Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781469653662

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469653662.001.0001

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Unsophisticated Buyers

Unsophisticated Buyers

(p.167) 5 Unsophisticated Buyers
Race for Profit

Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor

University of North Carolina Press

As the HUD failed to provide adequate housing for African Americans, officials and media increasingly placed the blame on the African American homeowners. In many cases the focus was on African American women. Instead of attributing an abundance of foreclosures to the selling of dilapidated housing and the inability of tenants to pay for extensive repairs, people claimed African American women were not knowledgeable enough about home maintenance and budgeting to own homes. In some places, potential low-income home buyers were educated on budgeting and home maintenance. However, the assumption that counselling could lead to better home retention ignored the systematic issues that placed Black people in inferior housing. Stories about low-income homeowners, mostly women, suing organizations for tricking them into poor residences, helped undercut the unsophisticated buyer narrative. Additionally, reports of scandal and corruption within the HUD cast a negative light on the response to the urban housing crisis.

Keywords:   African American women, Scandal, Corruption, Maintenance, HUD, Blame, Foreclosure

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