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M&T Bank responds to accusations of lending discrimination
     (SYRACUSE, N.Y., April 15, 2015) -- M&T Bank wants a judge to dismiss a lawsuit filed earlier this year accusing the bank of discriminatory lending practices.
     The Fair Housing Justice Center filed the suit in federal court in Manhattan in February. It accused the bank of using racial criteria to direct borrowers to particular neighborhoods and to determine their eligibility for mortgages.
     In a new response to the suit, M&T said its lending actions and decisions were based on legitimate, non-discriminatory reasons and not race, color or national origin, according to the Buffalo News.
     An investigation by the fair housing center found that minority buyers were often steered to minority neighborhoods by M&T, according to the Buffalo News. The center also found differences in loan amounts minority buyers were told they would qualify for. FULL STORY at syracuse.com

Civil rights complaint seeks to stop cities from concentrating low-income housing in high-poverty neighborhoods
     (MINNEAPOLIS, Minn., April 14, 2015) -- A civil rights attorney based in Washington, D.C., thinks he has the method for forcing changes in how and where St. Paul and Minneapolis locate low-income housing.
     Michael Allen did not file a lawsuit against the cities and their joint Housing Finance Board. Instead, he filed a complaint with the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development that, if successful, could put tens of millions of dollars in block grant and other federal poverty grants at risk.
     That’s not the result that Allen and the local complainants — the Metropolitan Interfaith Council on Affordable Housing and three Minneapolis neighborhood organizations — necessarily want. Rather, the groups bringing the complaint want the two cities to stop over-concentrating low-income housing in already impoverished neighborhoods. Doing so, even while assuring the federal government that they are not, is in violation of both the federal Civil Rights Act and the Fair Housing Act, the complaint says. FULL STORY at minnpost.com

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