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Tipsheet

Cries of Racism Over Bank of America's New Mortgage Program Miss the Bigger Issue

AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File

Bank of America on Tuesday announced a program to help first-time homebuyers in select communities across the country obtain affordable home loans by nixing closing costs and down payments.

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The Community Affordable Loan Solution will be available for certain black and Hispanic neighborhoods in Charlotte, Dallas, Detroit, Los Angeles, and Miami, though a bank representative claimed applicants don’t necessarily have to be Hispanic or black to qualify. 

A statement announcing the program specifically addresses the homeownership disparity between white and black Americans and hispanic and white Americans.

The program uses other guidelines when considering who qualifies for a loan. 

The Community Affordable Loan Solution is a Special Purpose Credit Program which uses credit guidelines based on factors such as timely rent, utility bill, phone and auto insurance payments. It requires no mortgage insurance or minimum credit score. Individual eligibility is based on income and home location. Prospective buyers must complete a homebuyer certification course provided by select Bank of America and HUD-approved housing counseling partners prior to application. (BoA)

"Homeownership strengthens our communities and can help individuals and families to build wealth over time," AJ Barkley, head of neighborhood and community lending for Bank of America, said in a statement. "Our Community Affordable Loan Solution will help make the dream of sustained homeownership attainable for more Black and Hispanic families, and it is part of our broader commitment to the communities that we serve."

The program was blasted on social media. While many called the move discriminatory, others pointed out it sounds exactly like what led to the subprime loan crisis. 

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