An agreement to advance housing opportunities for Black families in Indianapolis is moving forward. The initiative comes after The Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana alleged lending discrimination against Old National Bank.
The original lawsuit claimed Evansville based, Old National Bank made far fewer loans to Black households and closed branches in historically Black neighborhoods. The new settlement aims to increase mortgage lending in Black neighborhoods through a series of initiatives.
FHCCI Executive Director Amy Nelson said the deal addresses deep rooted disparities that Black Indianapolis families face when trying to acquire housing.
“Lack of access to down payment or closing costs, lack of affordable housing development, lack of bank branches,” Nelson said. “A lack of support for grassroots organizations.”
In the agreement Old National Bank committed to opening two new branches, creating a new loan fund program and supporting community organizations working on housing issues.
Nelson commended Old National for its commitment to change.
“Coming to the table and working out this agreement which we feel will lead to significant partnership that will combat so many lending disparities in Indy’s Black neighborhoods,” Nelson said.
Nelson said the agreement is one of the most comprehensive she has seen.
The bank committed to offering more than $20 million in single-family home loans in majority Black neighborhoods. It will also provide more than $7 million for affordable multifamily housing, grant funding, training and education efforts.
The two organizations will continue to work together to review progress.
Contact WFYI city government and policy reporter Jill Sheridan at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow on Twitter: @JillASheridan.