“I commend the Justice Department for taking legal action against Lakeland Bank for its redlining of Black and Latino neighborhoods in New Jersey, especially in Newark, and for winning a $13 million settlement. This move sends a powerful message to any financial institution that continues to withhold loans in minority neighborhoods.
“$12 million of the settlement will be used to create a loan subsidy fund to help home buyers make down payments, and offset insurance and closing costs. Additionally, Lakeland has agreed to open two new branches in communities of color, including one in Newark.
“$12 million is hundreds of mortgages, which is important in Newark and helps supplement the City’s efforts to increase homeownership at a time when such costs have gone up dramatically, putting owning a home out of reach to many Newark residents.
“Although, redlining was banned nationwide more than 50 years ago, we know it still exists. To deny people, specifically in Black and Latino neighborhoods in Newark, mortgage-lending services, based strictly on their race, robs and erodes their American dream of homeownership. It impedes families from building generational wealth, and widens the racial wealth gap.
“We must hold those who engage in racist practices accountable and the Justice Department displayed this strong message through its action.”