Discuss Detroit Archives - Beginning January 2006 Undercover buyers turn up bias in house hunt Previous Next
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Noggin
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Username: Noggin

Post Number: 57
Registered: 09-2004
Posted From: 69.241.253.36
Posted on Wednesday, April 05, 2006 - 5:34 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Another hatchet job from the freep.

http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs .dll/article?AID=/20060405/NEW S05/604050424

Highlighting the case of an African-American couple from Michigan, a civil rights group is expected to release a national report today that says real estate agents in metro Detroit and across the country often steer home buyers toward neighborhoods based on their race.

The report by the National Fair Housing Alliance -- much of it based on extensive testing by undercover home buyers -- reveals that three out of four testers in metro Detroit were pushed toward certain communities because of their skin color.

The Hollowells, who were not testers, say that's what happened to them when they were searching for a new home last year.

Kimberly and Darrick Hollowell, a couple formerly of Detroit who wanted to live in the Grosse Pointes, say they were repeatedly steered toward Harper Woods, where the African-American population is growing. The report -- part of which was first reported by the Free Press last year -- says that the Hollowells' experience confirms what they found in their testing nationwide: 87% of undercover home buyers were steered toward neighborhoods based on their race.

Despite having better incomes and finances, the African-American or Latino testers were shown fewer homes on average, and about 20% of them were refused housing appointments or ignored by real estate agents. The study was based on testing at real estate offices in 12 metro areas across the United States, including southeastern Michigan.

"The blatancy of the discrimination in agent behavior was astounding," reads an advance copy of the report.

In the Michigan case cited, Kimberly Hollowell, 33, said that an agent with a Century 21 Town & Country office on Mack in Grosse Pointe Farms pushed them toward Harper Woods, even though she and her husband told him they wanted to live in the Grosse Pointes. With kids approaching high school age, the couple, living in Detroit at the time, wanted to move to the Grosse Pointes, where they felt the public schools were better.

But they said their real estate agent, Ed Dallas, rebuffed their requests and urged them to move to Harper Woods. In a complaint filed with the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Kimberly Hollowell wrote that "he was persistent in recommending Harper Woods, and did not give us an opportunity to see homes for sale in any of the other Grosse Pointe areas."

At one time, the Hollowells said they specifically asked to see a home on Hollywood Avenue in Grosse Pointe Woods, but the agent refused.

Dallas said Tuesday the allegations against him are untrue. "I did exactly what they wanted me to do, as I do with all my customers," Dallas said. He said that the Hollowells initially did ask him about homes in the Grosse Pointes, and that he gave them some listings and information about homes there. But he said that the Hollowells later asked to see homes in Harper Woods, which he said he showed them.

The Hollowells eventually bought a home in Harper Woods in a section that allows children to attend Grosse Pointe public schools. But they're upset that they were denied a chance to at least look at homes in the Grosse Pointes.

"I thought that, as long as you have good credit, go to work every day, you save, you can get a home where you want to live," said Kimberly Hollowell, who works in the insurance industry. Her husband is a police officer.

"To discriminate against someone by denying them an opportunity someone else can have, is really unfair -- it ticks me off," she said.

Other real estate agents at the Grosse Pointe Farms office steered undercover minority testers away from white neighborhoods, the report said. The manager for the office, Sandy Nelson, said Tuesday that she was unaware of the report and referred questions to the corporate office of Century 21 Town & Country. Calls to officials at that office were not returned Tuesday.

The alliance study involved 145 pairs of testers, one white, and one African-American or Latino. The areas tested were metro Atlanta; Austin, Texas; Birmingham, Ala.; Chicago; Dayton, Ohio; Detroit; Mobile, Ala.; the New York City area, including Long Island and Westchester County; Philadelphia; Pittsburgh; San Antonio, and Washington, D.C.

In each case, the minority testers had more money for a down payment, a higher income and less debt. But, according to the report, many of them were denied services outright. There were also numerous cases, the report said, when the minority tester was required to provide a pre-approval letter or other financial information before viewing homes, while the white tester was not.

George Galster, a professor of urban affairs at Wayne State University who has studied racial steering for three decades, said that the report is troubling, but not surprising.

"At an individual level, it's a violation of fundamental human rights," Galster said. "At a social level, steering perpetuates racially separate neighborhoods."



-----------Another broad brush against GP. There already is growing large percentage of African Americans living in the Pointes. When ever convenient just yell racism! If they want to see steering maybe they should go out to Brighten.
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Sabio007
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Username: Sabio007

Post Number: 5
Registered: 01-2006
Posted From: 216.106.93.62
Posted on Wednesday, April 05, 2006 - 5:39 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Doesn't surprise me in the least. I choose to live around those who look like me, however, it absolutely scares me that bigots like this are essentially controlling where I can and cannot live.
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Dougw
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Username: Dougw

Post Number: 1066
Registered: 11-2003
Posted From: 136.1.1.33
Posted on Wednesday, April 05, 2006 - 6:02 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

How is this a "hatchet job"? True, it probably happens in plenty of other suburbs and not just GP. But this looks like an important study, with troubling results.
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Tiorted
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Username: Tiorted

Post Number: 2
Registered: 02-2006
Posted From: 141.217.55.103
Posted on Wednesday, April 05, 2006 - 6:11 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

freep hatchet job? are you kidding?

Apparently you would prefer to bury your head in the sand and pretend steering doesn't happen anymore.
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_sj_
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Username: _sj_

Post Number: 1292
Registered: 12-2003
Posted From: 69.220.230.150
Posted on Wednesday, April 05, 2006 - 6:18 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

All the agent is going to say is that he showed them better homes in Harper Woods for better money that are still part of the GP school Disctrict.
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Gianni
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Username: Gianni

Post Number: 216
Registered: 05-2004
Posted From: 209.104.144.90
Posted on Wednesday, April 05, 2006 - 6:22 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I don't know how you could say this is a hatchet job. Fair Housing groups like this have been around for decades. Many cities contract with them to enforce fair housing laws. They have been using testers for years, and have had many legal victories to prove it. This is nothing new, really. I don't know why anyone would be surprised that this sort of thing exists. It's very simple. You send a college educated black couple with good credit vs a a white couple with no job who just got out of meth rehab (OK I'm exaggerating a bit) and when the white couple gets the house or apartment, the realtor or landlord is busted. That's a classic "smoking gun" case.
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Johnnny5
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Username: Johnnny5

Post Number: 198
Registered: 06-2005
Posted From: 71.227.95.4
Posted on Wednesday, April 05, 2006 - 6:39 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

It's sad that this type of thing still happens, but I really don't think that most of the realtors have bad intentions by "steering" people to particular areas. In most cases they probably just assume that the customer would prefer to live in these areas. They may have learned from experiance that people end up choosing homes with neighbors similar to themselves; therefore they show homes that the customer is most likely to buy (afterall that is their job as a buying agent).
As for the blatent racism described in refusing a customers request to see a home based on their skin color; I'd be steaming mad if that happened to me. I am a bit confused why the customer stayed with the realtor in that case.

(Message edited by Johnnny5 on April 05, 2006)
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Soulsauce
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Username: Soulsauce

Post Number: 164
Registered: 05-2004
Posted From: 209.69.165.10
Posted on Wednesday, April 05, 2006 - 7:29 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)


quote:

They may have learned from experiance that people end up choosing homes with neighbors similar to themselves; therefore they show homes that the customer is most likely to buy (afterall that is their job as a buying agent).




I totally disagree. The agent's JOB is to show the client the homes that are within their price range, in the style they prefer, AND in the neighbor that they request to be shown homes in. It is not their job to hedge at which one I am most likely to buy ignoring all else.

And how the hell does similar color/race completely sum up someone being similar to me? Do you mean to say that someone of another race with comparable interests, education, habits, and income has less in common with me that someone who happens to share my skin color?

This is the kind of ignorant logic that people of color have to deal with every day and frankly I'm getting really tired of pointing this out to people.

This is blatant racism and it boggles my mind that some are you are still running around saying things like "IF this is true, that's SAD!"

How nice it must be to live in your world.
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Mackinaw
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Username: Mackinaw

Post Number: 1343
Registered: 02-2005
Posted From: 141.213.173.94
Posted on Wednesday, April 05, 2006 - 7:48 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Dougw, I also am sure that it happens in other suburbs.

While it is 100 percent wrong that they were steered away by that realtor, it is pretty lame to say that "they're upset that they were denied a chance to at least look at homes in the Grosse Pointes." This is quite a leap. A very poorly made point. Because one idiot at a real estate agency that has had these allegations in the past did not properly service them DOES NOT REMOTELY mean that they were denied that chance to live in Grosse Pointe. Hello?!? Does any one else see how bad this editorializing in the Freep is? Clearly half of you are falling for it! I'm sure the vast majority of GP realtors would have honored their requests and treated them completely normal. And how can you say that you were DENIED A CHANCE TO LIVE someplace just because of one idiot? Basically that is saying that they gave up really easy and jumped to the conclusion that all realtors and all Pointers are like that. Shame. Shame on the free press more than anything. And you wonder why this region can't move on w/ racial issues. We get people's blood boiling with half-ass reporting and editorializing like this. What crap.
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Chub
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Username: Chub

Post Number: 302
Registered: 11-2003
Posted From: 69.246.28.200
Posted on Wednesday, April 05, 2006 - 7:50 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

So why didn't the buyers just go with a different agent?
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Thrice
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Username: Thrice

Post Number: 86
Registered: 08-2005
Posted From: 207.91.250.131
Posted on Wednesday, April 05, 2006 - 8:02 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

They (the buyers) don't know they are being steered.

The agent might say something like, "we have no listings in that area," even when they do.

Hence the illegal part.
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Noggin
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Username: Noggin

Post Number: 58
Registered: 09-2004
Posted From: 69.241.253.36
Posted on Wednesday, April 05, 2006 - 9:44 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

All they have to do is drive around to see what is for sale by looking at the signs. The Freep is simply exaggerating to get their political viewpoint into a story. This is reporting at its worst.
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Soulsauce
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Username: Soulsauce

Post Number: 165
Registered: 05-2004
Posted From: 67.38.9.36
Posted on Wednesday, April 05, 2006 - 9:52 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)


quote:

So why didn't the buyers just go with a different agent?




When I used a Century 21 agent, I signed a form stating that I would use that agent for a certain number of months/days without seeking the services of another agent during that time, though I can't remember if this was a legally binding "contract" or just a good faith document.

And it's quite easy to determine if you're being steered. Buyers have access to many homes on the market by using Realtor.com and many other sites. It's not hard to run a search by price and neighborhood to draft a list of properties that you would like to see. Hell, you can drive through the neighborhood and write down the addresses.

You'd have to be pretty clueless to not know what's going on.
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Jiminnm
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Username: Jiminnm

Post Number: 400
Registered: 02-2005
Posted From: 68.35.85.184
Posted on Wednesday, April 05, 2006 - 10:05 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

They had me until I read that they bought a house in HW. That tends to reduce the seriousness of their claim. There is wide access to info on homes listed for sale, from driving around and looking at signs to web sites showing all listed houses. If you want to look at houses, sometimes you have to tell the realtor exactly which houses you want to see. If you rely solely on the realtor, that's your problem regardless of race. Now, if they specified certain houses to see or GP houses meeting their price and size specifics were withheld they might have a case. But this isn't 20 years ago when the realtors had all the information. A buyer or seller can have nearly as much info.
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Mackinaw
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Username: Mackinaw

Post Number: 1344
Registered: 02-2005
Posted From: 141.213.173.94
Posted on Wednesday, April 05, 2006 - 10:42 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Chub, Noggin, and Jiminnm, good points.

This study and article are both pretty-half ass; they expose something important and illegal. But they are designed to make a point which is flawed; you cannot say that they were completely denied the chance to live in GP and thus moved to HW solely because of one realtor. This study is so fishy.
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Bvos
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Username: Bvos

Post Number: 1378
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 75.10.25.142
Posted on Wednesday, April 05, 2006 - 11:30 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Soulsauce,

The contract you speak of, where you can only work with that realtor and no one else for a set period of time, is a legally binding agreement. It seems to be the new thing in real estate these days. A few friends and relatives I know, who until very recently used to be realtors, said most major chains require this agreement. You can sue and win if someone goes with another realtor. This is done so that the selling realtor doesn't unfairly take away the comission that should have been split between them and the buyer's realtor.

When my wife and I were looking for houses a few years ago, we refused to use realtors who required them. The realtor we picked was outstanding and he didn't require an agreement. He even helped us put in two offers on homes he knew he wouldn't get any comission on. In the end he was our agent on a house we bought and did receive a 3% comission. We refer him to any and everyone we know looking for a house in Detroit. Even though race could have been a factor in many of the deals, he didn't let it and allowed us to look at homes in any and every neighborhood.

As someone who knows some realtors working for the Town & Country firm, I don't doubt the claims made in this article at all. I say just think of all the folks that didn't file a complaint and just went elsewhere after the contract expired.

(Message edited by BVos on April 05, 2006)
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Lmichigan
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Username: Lmichigan

Post Number: 3493
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 67.172.95.197
Posted on Wednesday, April 05, 2006 - 11:31 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I don't get what some area having problems with. Blatant racism is now pretty rare in most parts of the country. It is the subtle racism that is the most dangerous now, and this is issue exposing what many of us have known and lived for years. It seems to bother some that subtle racism is counted as racism. It doesn't even have to be directly intentional, but that is irrelevant. It needs to be weeded out none the less. We're talking about every person seeking a realtor to get an equal spin, and equal chance to look at houses in their price range, regardless of where they may be. This is obviously not happening most of the time, and thus needs to be exposed for what it is so we can begin to correct the problems. It's exactly that nonchalant attiude (i.e. well it's not that big of a problem) that still keeps everyone from playing on the same field.

Many are still blind to the fact that throwing around racial slurs and doing someone of another color harm because of their color aren't the only types and forms of racism. But, there are only two choices. You can either come to grips with this reality, now. Or come to grip with it later when it will be much more painful. If you keep putting the pot on the backburner and leaving it unattended, it's eventually going to boil over, and you're going to have to clean up a mess that would have been easily avoided, by giving appropriate attention where it needs to be given.
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Bvos
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Username: Bvos

Post Number: 1379
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 75.10.25.142
Posted on Wednesday, April 05, 2006 - 11:37 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Soulsauce,

Another thing is that the family in the article apperently did do their own searching and identified an exact home they wanted to see. They couldn't see the house themselves because only licensed realtors are authorized to get the lock box code number and/or the key from the listing agent.

Additionally the family above could have had a certain timeline in which they needed a new home (a rather common thing) and the realtor from Century 21 had them under contract for that period. They have no way of getting out of that contract and no way of getting into a house they want without facing some pretty steep penalties (usually 3% of the sales price plus penalties and legal fees).
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Gianni
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Username: Gianni

Post Number: 217
Registered: 05-2004
Posted From: 69.3.205.5
Posted on Wednesday, April 05, 2006 - 11:37 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Quote:

____________________

The alliance study involved 145 pairs of testers, one white, and one African-American or Latino. The areas tested were metro Atlanta; Austin, Texas; Birmingham, Ala.; Chicago; Dayton, Ohio; Detroit; Mobile, Ala.; the New York City area, including Long Island and Westchester County; Philadelphia; Pittsburgh; San Antonio, and Washington, D.C.

In each case, the minority testers had more money for a down payment, a higher income and less debt. But, according to the report, many of them were denied services outright. There were also numerous cases, the report said, when the minority tester was required to provide a pre-approval letter or other financial information before viewing homes, while the white tester was not.

____________________

This was no half-ass study. See what you want to see, forget our history, and believe that we live in the age of progress where racial bias in housing no longer exists, if that makes you feel better. But this is not an isolated example.

Of course not all real estate agents are like this, probably not even most. But there are still enough to make a difference. And there always will be as long as there are people who make excuses for them. Residential segregation did not and does not occur by random chance. It is not a coincidence. It is real. Just look around. If you can't see it you are either blind or kidding yourself.
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321brian
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Username: 321brian

Post Number: 100
Registered: 02-2006
Posted From: 68.62.6.147
Posted on Wednesday, April 05, 2006 - 11:47 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

As an agent I can tell you that if you have money I don't care where you want to live.

However, if you sign anything without getting to know your agent and if you say that you were denied access to a certain area you need to get your act together.

It is also true that most of use choose to live near people who look like us. More power to those who choose to move out of that comfort zone.
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Mackinaw
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Username: Mackinaw

Post Number: 1345
Registered: 02-2005
Posted From: 141.213.173.94
Posted on Thursday, April 06, 2006 - 12:09 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Gianni--

Wrong choice of words. Perhaps more like half-ass reporting.

You see, this report is disturbing, but it only covered one agency and thus cannot be used to draw conclusions about our area, right? Well the way the Freep worked it in their article, they were certainly trying to make it a local issue. On an additional note, the study picked an agency which already was rumored to have some issues. I'm guessing this was intentional. I don't think this would have happened with one of the smaller firms in GP, or most corporate ones for that matter.

Above all this, I still don't get why that familiy didn't keep shopping anyway. The freep made a point out of the fact that they ended up not living in GP, but it really seems like a non sequitor.
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Soulsauce
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Username: Soulsauce

Post Number: 166
Registered: 05-2004
Posted From: 67.38.9.36
Posted on Thursday, April 06, 2006 - 12:52 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Bvos,

Thank you for clarifying the Buyer Agency Contract. I've since found my copy and just as you said, it is a legally binding contract. Mine was for the span of 4 months (120 days). I, like the couple in the article used a Century 21 agent, so they probably had to sign the same thing.

You have supported my point which I was trying to make to those who kept asking why they didn't just go to another agent. 4 months is a long time to "wait out" a contract when you want to move, especially if you are selling a house or trying to get out of a leasing situation. It's not as simple as some try to make it.

You offered additional support when you confirmed that they had identified homes in which they were interested in. My agent and I drove all around the area that I was interested in when I was looking at houses. When I found homes that I wanted to see, my agent was generally able to set up an appointment right away. Sometimes all she had to do was make a phone call and she was able to get the lockbox combination right then.

Someone posted that people don't know when they are being steered away from certain neighborhood. Again, I was pointing out that it is very easy to figure out if the agent is lying about housing availability in an area.
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Bvos
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Username: Bvos

Post Number: 1382
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 75.10.25.142
Posted on Thursday, April 06, 2006 - 1:22 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Mackinaw,

Century 21 Town & Country is one of the largest real estate agencies in the country. They are the top producing Century 21 agency in the country. They have 1,100 agents at 16 offices in the metro area. All this happens in one of the slowest real estate markets in the country.

I'd say this is a pretty major concern, even if it were only Century 21 Town & Country who were discriminating. The fact that Century 21 Town & Country keeps reiterating (this story has been out for a few months) that they believe they did absolutely nothing wrong what so ever tells me that this is a systemic problem that does/could exist in the other 15 offices, not just the Grosse Pointe office.

The article only highlights one family and one real estate firm. There were over 100 other couples who experienced racism as well. This is not an isolated incident.
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Broken_main
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Username: Broken_main

Post Number: 1016
Registered: 06-2005
Posted From: 69.222.11.226
Posted on Thursday, April 06, 2006 - 3:03 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Something similar to this happened to my wife and I. We started our search with a few cities in mind. Sterling Heights, Harper Woods, and Livonia(Lord, what was i thinkin?) We requested to see 12 houses in Livonia, we saw one and it was a HUD house that needed a lot of work. Of course, we had to let him go. As far as Sterling Heights is concerned...Our new agent kept finding homes in Warren, Fraser, Eastpointe(you see where I am going with this). In Harper Woods, finding a house was no problem(but we had a lil problem with my credit, identity theft to be specific, and the seller was trying to seel quick)

Thank God we took so long, because we are happy with Detroit and have the perfect view of Downtowns skyline form our townhouse.
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Jjaba
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Username: Jjaba

Post Number: 3549
Registered: 11-2003
Posted From: 67.160.138.107
Posted on Thursday, April 06, 2006 - 3:50 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

"No dogs, Jews, or Coloreds."

So what else is new?

Detroit has the wealthiest Afro-American population in the USA. As they financially progress, we can expect them to want to "go suburban" just like the rest of us. Their rights are totally protected in laws now. And realitors know it.

Ofcourse, jjaba is 100% fair housing, but it does strike him that with Detroit completely desegregated, there's some mighty fine property within the city limits.

Many of us remember the days of the battles to desegregate Detroit schools, neighborhoods, jobs, churches, social/golf clubs and public accomodations of all manners around our city. jjaba has many stories.

jjaba, tells it like it tis.
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Metrodetguy
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Username: Metrodetguy

Post Number: 2462
Registered: 11-2003
Posted From: 68.248.3.110
Posted on Thursday, April 06, 2006 - 3:54 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Correction: Prince George's County, Maryland has the wealthiest African American population in the US.
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Chub
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Username: Chub

Post Number: 303
Registered: 11-2003
Posted From: 69.246.28.200
Posted on Thursday, April 06, 2006 - 4:08 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Wait, I thought we were the poorest major city in the country?
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Metrodetguy
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Username: Metrodetguy

Post Number: 2463
Registered: 11-2003
Posted From: 68.248.3.110
Posted on Thursday, April 06, 2006 - 4:12 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The Atlanta area's African American population is also among the country's wealthiest.
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Rustic
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Username: Rustic

Post Number: 2303
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 130.132.177.245
Posted on Thursday, April 06, 2006 - 4:15 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

A flipside to this redlining is real estate agents potential ignorance (either deliberate or systemic) of city neighborhoods to white homebuyers. Since whites are the majority of metro area households this is a significant flipside in that it can severely depress housing prices in the city. Is this the case? For example do buying agents steer comfortable white families looking for nice older homes within Detroit's inner ring to say for example Huntington Woods or the more modest GP neighborhoods rather than say Sherwood Forest? Within the city, do real estate agents steer white buyers to certain neighborhoods rather than others?

(Message edited by rustic on April 06, 2006)
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Danny
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Username: Danny

Post Number: 3923
Registered: 02-2004
Posted From: 141.217.174.221
Posted on Thursday, April 06, 2006 - 4:54 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

That's the main reason the RACIAL STEERING in real estate contributes to RESTRICTIVE COVENANTS when it comes to a minorty race tying to move into a area that controlled by a majority race and the other way around.

Take for instance. a tale of two or three houses in the Far NE Wayne County area owned by Remax. In the 2 neighborhoods along Mack Ave. One a 4 brdm. brick colonial locacted on Harvard St cost over $139,900. On the Detroit side in the sub-division known as East English Village and the other on Harvard St. On the Grosse Pointe side of Harvard St. a 4 bdrm. colonial cost $249,900. Now a wealthy middle-class Detroit black family checked out the house on the Grosse Pointe Park side of Harvard St. And they want to buy that the house. They went to the real estate agent and said, "WE WANT THAT HOUSE." The Real estate gave them " The look " and "it" said " OH I'M SORRY!! THAT HOUSE IS BEING SOLD." " SOLD TO WHOM?" The black Detroit family said" I CAN'T GIVE OUT THAT INFORMATION, SIR!".( The black Detroit family didn't know that the house in Grosse Pointe Park side of Harvard St. is NOT sold.) the Real estate agent said, " BUT I CAN SHOW YOU THIS LOVELY HOUSE ON THE OTHER SIDE OF HARVARD ST. IN DETROIT. IT HAS 4 BEDROOMS, LIVING ROOM, DINING AREA, A REMODELED KITCHEN, AND A FULL FINISHED BASEMENT ONLY FOR $139,900." The black Detroit said, "NO!! WE ARE LOOKING ARE A HOUSE IN THE SUBURBS." Then the agent said," OK, HOW THIS HOUSE IN SOUTHFIELD. IT'S LOCATED ON BELL ST. JUST NORTH OF 12 MILE RD. IT A 4 BEDROOM COLONIAL 4 BATHS, 2 CAR GARAGE, A FOYER, LIVING AND DINING AREA, A FULL FINISH BASEMENT, BIG BACKYARD, AND DIVERSE NEIGHBORS. THE HOUSE COST $129,000.( The Black Detroit family didn't know that the Southfield neighborhood is diverse all right, but most of the white-folks along the conservative and democratic Americanized Jews have moved away and area is mostly black.) Then the family said, " ALL RIGHT LET'S GO CHECK IT OUT." Months later, The Once black Detroit family had brought the Southfield colonial and moved out of the almost desolate Detroit ghettohood. From the black ghettohood to black neighbohood. This Black Detroit family had been RACIALLY STEERED into buying a house on Southfield rather than buying a house in Grosse Pointe Park.

Next time any real estate person tried to RACIALLY STEERED you into buying another house in another minority and majority enviroment. Tell this person I LIKE THAT HOUSE! AND I'LL WANT TO BUT IT.

(Message edited by danny on April 07, 2006)
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Mackinaw
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Username: Mackinaw

Post Number: 1346
Registered: 02-2005
Posted From: 141.213.173.94
Posted on Thursday, April 06, 2006 - 4:56 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

All great questions, Rustic.

Crap like this is prevalent everywhere, I would not disagree, and it can easily be reversed or twisted. So many people base so much on generalities and preconcieved notions. I wonder how many white folks are steered out of Detroit (whether by white or black realtors, regardless of them being based inside or outside of the city). I know this isn't a large number, but I could see it happening when people are deciding between Warrendale/Evergreen/Brightmoo r and Redford (the white man's slum, if you don't mind my saying), between EEV and GP, or far NE v. Harper Woods etc. I remember an initial expose on this Century 21 output in GP Farms, which was reported on much more thoroughly, and it did include a case where some white couples interested in Detroit were steered out of the D, because "those taxes are too dang high and your options for schools in that neighborhood are not good," however, that realtor called Detroit a "great value" and didn't mention high taxes at all when a black family inquired. When a realtor thinks that they know what's best for you, then that is when you go find another one or do some research on your own (something it appears the family featured in the Free Press did not do).
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Mackinaw
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Username: Mackinaw

Post Number: 1347
Registered: 02-2005
Posted From: 141.213.173.94
Posted on Thursday, April 06, 2006 - 4:56 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Danny, I agree with your last point whole-heartedly!
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Goose
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Username: Goose

Post Number: 7
Registered: 02-2005
Posted From: 69.47.74.30
Posted on Friday, April 07, 2006 - 9:38 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

most of the buyers agent agreements that im aware of are voidable at will by written notice and then only protect the agent from loss of commission if the buyer chooses to buy a home that was shown to the buyer by the agent

such as the nightmare buyer who uses the agent to be shown 100's of houses then decides to try and cut out the middle man to get a better deal and contacts the homeowner directly to negotiate a lower price that excludes any commission
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Danny
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Username: Danny

Post Number: 3929
Registered: 02-2004
Posted From: 141.217.174.235
Posted on Friday, April 07, 2006 - 9:53 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

A long time ago The 5 (Snobbyvilles) have a RESTRICTIVE COVENENT system called "THE POINTE SYSTEM" It was design to keep to Blacks, Jews, Hispanics and any other ethnic races from buying those beuatiful "Nouveau Riche" homes and it worked really good until HUD said It's unconstitutional.

(Message edited by danny on April 07, 2006)
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Mackinaw
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Username: Mackinaw

Post Number: 1349
Registered: 02-2005
Posted From: 141.213.173.94
Posted on Friday, April 07, 2006 - 10:01 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

To be clear, it was many real estate agencies which had these point systems; it was not written into municipal law. I should study up on some history, but I'm pretty sure the point system was most prevalent in the 40s and 50s and perhaps 60s too, based mainly on the political climate of the day. It was not around (really not needed) in the building boom of the 1890s-1920s when you could make the case that GP was new money.
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Unclefrank
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Username: Unclefrank

Post Number: 37
Registered: 03-2006
Posted From: 192.85.50.1
Posted on Friday, April 07, 2006 - 10:10 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I find it hard to believe that there are still Real Estate types out there that would put their bias aginst black people above their desire to turn a buck. There may be a few of them, but their numbers have to be pretty small.

(Message edited by unclefrank on April 07, 2006)
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Danny
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Username: Danny

Post Number: 3930
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Posted From: 141.217.174.235
Posted on Friday, April 07, 2006 - 10:15 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Here's two familt that fought RESTRICTIVE COVENANTS and won. In 1925 Dr. Ossian Sweet bought a house on Garlard St. just at the corner of Charlevoix at Detroit's East Side. The ghettohood at the time was mostly White. When the white-folks saw this black man moving into their area. They stormed into his house. Henry Sweet his brother pulled out his shotgun and fire a warning shot at the crowd, the shotgun hit a white man who was sitting at his front porch across the street. He was dead instantly. The Detroit Police came and arrested the whole family. Later during the trail. Clarrence Darrow, the Sweet Family's lawyer defended them against white-folks at Garland St. Judge Frank Murphy said that a "MAN'S HOME IS HIS CASTLE." and the Sweet family was aquitted, allowing them to return to their home.

In the later 1940s. The McGhee Family had bought a house on W. Grand Blvd. On Detroit's west side. The Phersons, wo were their next door neighbor, don't want them living next to them. They even thinking about moving away to the suburbs. But they sued them instead and later the judge said that the McGhees have their right to live in their house and he trail was aquitted.

The 2 Black Detroit families fought the RESTRICTIVE COVENANTS and won. And Black folks along with any ethnic race can live whatever they want to live in America.

(Message edited by danny on April 07, 2006)
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Mackinaw
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Username: Mackinaw

Post Number: 1350
Registered: 02-2005
Posted From: 141.213.173.94
Posted on Friday, April 07, 2006 - 10:44 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I love that Frank Murphy quote.

Restrictive convenants were prevalent in Detroit's history, too, as your examples demonstrate.
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Rustic
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Username: Rustic

Post Number: 2309
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 130.132.177.245
Posted on Friday, April 07, 2006 - 11:05 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Unlce frank, it is POSSIBLE that the metro Detroit realestate market MAKES more money through segregation. Here are two ways (note that these are true whether it is deliberate, systemic or even self-imposed by the buyers NOT the SELLERS or agents)

(1) The city of Detroit has a HUGE HUGE number of nice homes in nice neighborhoods which IF there is segregation in housing is essentially "off the market" to white home buyers. This would have the effect of inflating suburban house prices and depressing city house prices. Note most of the neighborhoods of Detroit within a few miles of it's northern and western borders (tens of thousands of homes, where the bulk of the city's population lives) are virtually indistinguishable from the housing stock to the north and west yet house prices comparing apples to apples are a fraction of their suburban counterparts. I'm not talking just brand name neighborhoods consider, for example: if Warrendale attracted white buyers in regionally representative numbers -- what would that do to Allen Park's housing prices?

(2) Segregation encourages housing turnover with middle class white flight leading middle class black flight leading working class white flight leading working class black flight. This encourages (1) housing turnover and (2) sprawl in the form of new construction ever and ever further out. Both of these things are good for the metro area real estate industry.
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Gianni
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Username: Gianni

Post Number: 220
Registered: 05-2004
Posted From: 209.104.144.90
Posted on Friday, April 07, 2006 - 11:43 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Rustic tells it like it is. Housing segregation skews demand by the majority (white) population, resulting in deflated values in the city and inflated values in the suburbs.

Even HUD got into the act. They would not give HUD mortgages in Detroit in some areas because blacks lived there. In one neighborhood a wall was built between the white and black neighborhoods so that HUD would give mortgages in the white area. For those who haven't checked out this part of Lowell's site, here are pictures and some of the story:

https://www.detroityes.com/webisode s/2002/8mile/021106-04-8mile-b erlin-wall.htm

The history of segregation in Detroit is old and runs deep. Don't kid yourself. We are still suffering from it.

BTW, the point system in GP even included Italians along with "dogs, jews and coloreds" to quote Jjaba. It was William Buffalino, attorney and reputed (but never proven) mafioso who stumbled onto it when he was unable to buy a house. He sued and won, ending the point system. Now there are lots of Giacalones, Toccos, Corrados, Vitales and others in GP area.
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Mackinaw
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Username: Mackinaw

Post Number: 1351
Registered: 02-2005
Posted From: 141.213.173.94
Posted on Friday, April 07, 2006 - 12:40 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Indeed. GP is awfully Catholic and has a heritage as such (i.e. St. Paul church and all the old Frenchies), but for a while early-mid century there the WASPs tried to take control.

GP Park, especially, flourished as a dwelling place for mobsters from prohibition until stupid Kennedy broke up the fun.
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Rasputin
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Username: Rasputin

Post Number: 3585
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 68.249.9.112
Posted on Friday, April 07, 2006 - 2:24 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Soulsauce: Have you noticed the replies; especially the attempts to pin or put blame on a single agent/city?

That same schitt has been happening for years ..... out right racism!! nothing new there and expected by Black Folk as a matter of doing business in a white racist (institutional or/and knowledgeable) society. It wouldn't have mattered if the Black couple were millionaires, both had Ph.D.s, and had a limo take them everywhere. They would have suffered the same fate .... as one with an everyday JOB, average credit scores, a high school education and drove Chevrolets.

btw: Not only have the agents been steering, but they've been pushing Detroit houses to white folk in specific neighborhoods; in addition to the financial institutions playing bullschitt racist games with so-called "average credit scores".

And these MoFos up-in-here wanna (and have) created new ghettos (know the meaning?) while thinking they're goody-two-shoes!! Go figure ..... on, "Oh my, not me!"

Black-atcha ...... watching the cat being let out of the proverbial bag! AGAIN!!!
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Soulsauce
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Username: Soulsauce

Post Number: 167
Registered: 05-2004
Posted From: 209.69.165.10
Posted on Friday, April 07, 2006 - 2:38 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Ras,

Yeah, I noticed. Most of the replies either ignore, distort, refuse to get, or miss the point altogether.

Soulsauce...observing the conversations of those "livin' in oblivion."
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Jiminnm
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Username: Jiminnm

Post Number: 402
Registered: 02-2005
Posted From: 68.35.85.184
Posted on Friday, April 07, 2006 - 4:25 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Actually Danny, it was the US Supreme Court that said racially based restrictive covenants were unconstitutional (Shelley v. Kraemer, 1948). I expect many subdivisions in Detroit still contain these covenants because they were platted prior to 1948. As a result of Shelley v. Kraemer, however, they are meaningless and unenforceable. Although, they will remain on those subdivision plats until the property is replatted.
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Goose
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Username: Goose

Post Number: 8
Registered: 02-2005
Posted From: 69.47.86.197
Posted on Friday, April 07, 2006 - 10:20 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

its amazing that there are ANY "black folk" living in GP, how the heck did they manage to buy there???, something must be wrong with the system to allow these minorites to slip through the safety net.....

sorry, anyone who is referring to GP as snobbyville is just as biased as anyone who would prohibit black or any race or ethnicity from buying there

its been many many years since its been grosse pointe whites

heck, i graduated from GPN in the 80's and at the time there was a - believe it or not - a black fella attending

holy crap whats this world coming too!!!!
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Bibs
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Username: Bibs

Post Number: 481
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 64.12.116.204
Posted on Friday, April 07, 2006 - 11:23 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I once read in the paper that Lee Iaccoca was not able to purchase homes on Lakeshore Dr due to the influence of the Ford family. Lee Iaccoca was fired from Ford and rose to iconic status at Chrylser. Hence, the snub.
I live in Troy where their is a good cultural mix: African American, Polish, Asian Indians, Chinese and people of Middle Eastern descent. Everyone seems to get along. Do you want to live in an environment that embraces diversity or an environment where everyone is xenophobic and hates diversity.
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Mackinaw
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Username: Mackinaw

Post Number: 1353
Registered: 02-2005
Posted From: 70.141.183.123
Posted on Friday, April 07, 2006 - 11:52 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Yeah Goose.

Grosse Pointe South, which I am not long removed from, had nearly (perhaps more) 100 African Americans I would assume, and an impressive amount of first-second generation Albanians from W. GP Park. What GP lacks, and always has, is a noticeable Jewish population.

Nonetheless, it is not as diverse as your average inner ring suburb in a large metropolitan area should be--but alas, this is metro Detroit. Ann Arbor is one of a small handful of examples of very nice integration, in every sense of the word.
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Danny
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Username: Danny

Post Number: 3933
Registered: 02-2004
Posted From: 198.111.165.162
Posted on Sunday, April 09, 2006 - 3:22 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

When the suburbs were being built during the late 1940s. Those new cookie cutter ranches and bungalows were design for "WHITES ONLY" and "NO COLOREDS". Not onlt it happen in Detroit, but every major U.S. suburbs.


Today when most blacks moved to predominately white communities. Some of them would not get a " WARM WELCOME!" It happen to a black woman who brought a 3 brdm. ranch in a Warren neighborhood just north of 12 Mile. When she came home the next day. She found that her garage had been spraypainted with the word "NI--ER!" Afraid that her home and family would be terrorized. She decided to move away to Oak Park. It seems to me that everytime a black or ethnic family moved into a white community, they would a body language response like "NOT IN MY NEIGHBORHOOD!"
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Detroit48213
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Username: Detroit48213

Post Number: 24
Registered: 04-2006
Posted From: 68.79.166.5
Posted on Sunday, April 09, 2006 - 3:27 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

This cant be true!!! Not in the great USA USA USA! They Must Being Lieing. This is 2006. AMERICA is a joke
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Lowell
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Username: Lowell

Post Number: 2444
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 66.167.210.27
Posted on Sunday, April 09, 2006 - 5:12 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

"I find it hard to believe that there are still Real Estate types out there that would put their bias aginst black people above their desire to turn a buck."

Well there are. Agents tend to work a set area and selling to an "undesireable" can viewed the agent losing future sale oppportuniteis by vengeful neighbors.

IMO, the justice departments, Michigan and Federal, should be running stings non stop in real estate as well as auto sales, loans and other high ticket items. This discrimination continues; we have the most segregated metropolis in the country as result and these criminals should be stung until no one dares do it.
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Rasputin
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Username: Rasputin

Post Number: 3590
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 205.188.116.137
Posted on Sunday, April 09, 2006 - 8:49 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Lowell, I feel ya; but that's just asking the proverbial "Fox to guard the chicken-coop!" Go figure .....

Black-atcha .....
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East_detroit
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Username: East_detroit

Post Number: 573
Registered: 11-2003
Posted From: 69.212.169.194
Posted on Sunday, April 09, 2006 - 8:59 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Mackinaw, good point. Jews werent allowed to live in GP, hence, they didnt establish a community there.

West side has a lot of "community groups" that also review and approve (in clever manners) new potential neighbors.
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Danny
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Username: Danny

Post Number: 3946
Registered: 02-2004
Posted From: 141.217.174.229
Posted on Monday, April 10, 2006 - 10:14 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Meanwhile 10 years for now between the neighborhoods of Detroit, Harper Woods and the 5 "Snobbyville" pointes.

Black folks, mostly from Detroit will be able to buy most of the neighborhoods of Harper Woods from Kelly Ave. to I-94 FWY. and from Moross to 9 mile Rd. near the Eastpointe and St. Clair Shores borders. White-folks over the pointes will set up natural demarcation lines between along the I-94 FWY. and Mack Ave. All of the 5 Grosse Pointes will remained majority white, only few selected blacks who have the knowhow in the working world will be able to buy a home there. And those GP folks will keep their property values up. Making ot VERY expensive to buy those classic McMansions.

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