Miami Valley Fair Housing

An under-maintained home in a black neighborhood.
Miami Valley Fair Housing

Cities in Ohio and around the country are continuing to recover from the housing bust, but some neighborhoods may be having an easier time than others. A new study by the National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA) finds banks are doing a better job with upkeep on foreclosed homes in white neighborhoods than neighborhoods of color.

NFHA worked with groups in 29 metro areas, including Dayton and Toledo, to inspect thousands of bank-owned homes.

It’s been five years since the housing bubble burst. Lots of people in the Dayton area lost their homes to foreclosure, and many of those homes are still sitting vacant.

Before the housing bust, McCarthy says his work at the Miami Valley Fair Housing Center often focused on discriminatory lending and rental practices; they were trying to get people of color into homes. But since the housing bust, he says the center has shifted focus towards keeping people in the greater Dayton area in their homes, through fighting foreclosures and seeking refinancing.

Home sales numbers are out for September, and the greater Dayton area shows an increase of 21 percent compared to September of 2012. The dollar volume in the first nine months of the year, $1.3 billion, also increased 21 percent compared to the first nine months of 2012.

Nancy Farkas of the Dayton Area Board of Realtors says she sees the most growth in places like Kettering, Centerville and Beavercreek. But overall, she says the outlook is positive across the board.

The local nonprofit group has won a new trial in a federal discrimination lawsuit over an Ohio apartment listing for a "bachelor pad" for men looking to "hook up." 

On Monday, a three-judge panel of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a lower judge's ruling denying a new trial for Miami Valley Fair Housing Center.

MVFH first sued Dayton-based Connor Group in 2010 over a Craigslist ad for a Centerville apartment. The ad read: "Our one-bedroom apartments are a great bachelor pad for any single man looking to hook up."

Full episode of WYSO Weekend for April 15, 2012 containing the following stories:

-Wayne Baker reports on Wittenburg's student radio station that was knocked off the air last week due to a busted water pipe.

-Jerry Kenney speaks with Jim McCarthy from the Miami Valley Fair Housing Center about the National Fair Housing Alliance's discrimination claim against Wells Fargo Bank.