A federal court found that Fannie Mae was not properly taking care of foreclosed homes in the West Michigan area. Non-profit corporation, the Fair Housing Center of West Michigan, was one of about 20 housing groups across the country involved in a $53 million settlement with Fannie Mae which will result in approximately $1.2 million going towards housing projects in West Michigan. Half of that amount will be going towards projects in Grand Rapids and the other half will be going towards projects in Muskegon.
The settlement is due in large part to a national investigation that compared how foreclosed properties were maintained in minority zip codes versus how foreclosed properties were maintained in predominately white zip codes following the 2008 housing crisis. In Grand Rapids specifically, the investigation found that more than 30 homes in Fannie Mae’s portfolio, which were a part of the 49507 zip code, were twice as likely to have five or more deficiencies than in the 49504 zip code.
This is the first time that a Federal Court has held that the Fair Housing Act applies to the maintenance and marketing of real estate owned properties.
Chelsea Lenard is an associate attorney at Grewal Law PLLC. Her practice focuses primarily on personal injury, cannabis law, family law, criminal law, and employment law.