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Thursday, November 27, 2014
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Published: Saturday, 4/12/2014 - Updated: 7 months ago

TOLEDO HOUSING

Property firm denies discrimination claims

Agencies allege minorities faced bias

BY JON CHAVEZ
BLADE BUSINESS WRITER

Safeguard Properties Inc. of Cleveland, subject of a federal complaint filed by Toledo’s Fair Housing Center and the National Fair Housing Alliance, on Friday issued a response to accusations that it discriminated against minority neighborhoods while maintaining foreclosed homes owned by the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae).

Safeguard said it was disappointed that the housing alliance held a news conference Tuesday to discuss the complaint it filed with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The complaint filed Tuesday was in addition to one the housing alliance filed in March, 2013.

The fair housing groups said Safeguard took better care of homes in predominantly white neighborhoods than it did homes in black or Latino neighborhoods.

“Since the complaint was originally filed, we have worked with HUD through the administrative process and have complied with information requests. We have asked [the housing alliance] for details on the actual properties they base their complaints on, and they have not cooperated with us. Safeguard has and will continue to cooperate with HUD’s investigation of this matter,” a statement issued by Safeguard said.

“Safeguard performs services following industry standards set forth by investors and our clients pursuant to service agreements. ...” the statement added.

“Safeguard neither condones nor tolerates acts of racism or business practices that would unfairly target or neglect certain neighborhoods based on location and demographics. We are outraged by the allegations made by the NFHA and we intend to dispute the claims and prove the accusations to be untrue,” Safeguard said.

Contact Jon Chavez at: jchavez@theblade.com or 419-724-6128.



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