Housing Discrimination and Mortgage Counseling: Defining the Role of the New York City Commission on Human Rights

Client: New York City Commission on Human Rights
Faculty: Charles Brecher and Gayle Horwitz
Team: Tracey Gordy, Melissa Lee, Melissa Mendez, Margaret Murphy, Annette Polidura
Year: 2003
In an ongoing attempt to enforce the New York City Human Rights Law, the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) has acknowledged the correlation between the high rate of residential foreclosures and predatory lending practices that target vulnerable populations, such as the elderly and low- to moderate-income minority communities. The Capstone team assessed the interplay of discrimination within the sub-prime lending market, identified targeted areas in New York City, and appraised the effectiveness of the Commission’s foreclosure counseling program. Through research, site visits, and interviews, the team determined that CHR’s role should incorporate an expanded intake and needs assessment of potential clients, enhanced referral network with other community-based organizations, and comprehensive tracking system to determine the efficacy of the counseling program.