Friday, June 2, 2023

 Mortgage Lending Discrimination

 KeyBank & Capital One Lose Their Access To New York City’s Business

The NYC Banking Commission has voted to freeze deposits at the two megabanks over their refusal to tackle racial discrimination. KeyBank and Capital One will not receive further deposits from the City of New York after the unprecedented public vote by the Commission, which took the punitive action because the banks have refused to share information on their internal efforts to combat discrimination by failing to submit anti-discrimination plans. The New York City Comptroller Brad Lander, one of three members of the commission, also voted against allowing Wells Fargo, PNC, and International Finance Bank to hold public funds after they also failed to submit anti-discrimination plans.

In a public hearing, the Commission designated 26 banks to receive deposits from city agencies for the next two years. Despite the suspensions of Capital One and KeyBank, the two banks can service existing contracts for one year.

These actions come after the Commission in February strengthened its rules to make designated banks more accountable to the public by asking banks to provide detailed plans and specific steps to combat lending and employment discrimination. Banks are expected to provide approved banking products and services for city entities and must provide total collateralization for any money held.

“Good cities shouldn’t do business with bad banks, so it’s great to see the New York commissioners take action here,” the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) commented. “KeyBank and Capital One have atrocious track records of not just under-serving but actively harming the interests of low-wealth communities and people of color. New York City moves a lot of money around in the course of everyday business, so some bank is going to make money by providing that service. But that profit opportunity shouldn’t go to banks like these that abuse the privileges of a federal bank charter while flouting the responsibilities that come with it.”

KeyBank’s refusal to provide the required documents to the Commission comes months after an NCRC report exposed the Cleveland-based lender’s worst-in-class performance on lending to non-White, non-wealthy borrowers. The bank in May agreed to a third-party racial equity audit after fair-lending groups and 80 community organizations asked federal regulators for an investigation into alleged redlining in the its mortgage lending practices. It claims that the current problem is a misunderstanding.

NCRC said that "Capital One, meanwhile, has repeatedly harmed the public, violated consumers’ rights, and rejected legal obligations not to discriminate." A Capital One spokesperson told Ameican Banker it does not encourage discrimination against employees and clients, and that what it submitted to city officials was “consistent” with past materials.

In April 2022, after City officials agreed to not to open any new depository accounts with Wells Fargo Bank after a Bloomberg report found the bank approved less than 50% of refinance applications from Black homeowners in 2020 but 72% from white borrowers. A Wells Fargo spokesperson told American Banker in an email at the time that “We are ready to continue serving [the city’s] needs today and well into the future.” 



"NYC Regulator Halts City Deposits at Key Bank, Capital One," Banking Dive, May 26, 2023.

NCRC  Just News/ May 25, 2023 Press Release.

Tuesday, May 30, 2023

 Free Forum on Workplace & Cannabis

Cannabis Symposium

Join us as we discuss the implications of the decriminalization of cannabis and the impact on employment.

To register, click HERE  


For reasonable accommodation requests, please contact: no later than one week prior to the event.


Victim of Discrimination?

File a Complaint3

Training & Partnerships

Education and Outreach button


 Free Forum on Antisemitism in Maryland

Being Jewish in America: Antisemitism and other challenges

Join us for a discussion of antisemitism and other challenges facing the Jewish community.

To register, click HERE.


Victim of Discrimination?

File a Complaint3

Training & Partnerships

Education and Outreach button


Thursday, May 25, 2023

 Free Concert to Celebrate Juneteenth 2023!

June 12, 2023, Juneteenth Jubilee at Govans Presbyterian Church - Celebrate freedom, justice, and love together as we kick-off Juneteenth week (the national holiday is celebrated on June 19!) with a concert celebrating African American music and culture!

This amazing celebration will feature the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra musicians, conductor Jonathan Rush, the Knox Presbyterian and Govans Choirs, community musicians, poet Keith Snipes and much more. Admission is free and open to all. Email Lea Gilmore at for more information.

 Happy Asian Pacific American Heritage Month in Baltimore!

Happy Asian Pacific American Heritage Month!

APA HM 2023

Happy Asian Pacific American (or Asian American and Pacific Islander) Heritage Month! This month is a time to celebrate the histories and futures of Asians, Asian Americans, and Pacific Islanders across the country and in Baltimore. Here are a few fun facts about Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders living in Baltimore:

  • About 15,000 people of Asian descent live in Baltimore City, and 9,600 of them are immigrants.
  • Asian Americans have lived in Baltimore for many years! Baltimore’s first unofficial Chinatown was established in the 1880s and the first unofficial Koreatown began in the 1960s.
  • This year, 2023, marks the 120th year of Korean immigration to Baltimore!
  • Many Asian immigrants from various countries have found home in Baltimore: Vietnamese, Filipino, Afghani, Bangladeshi, Indian, Nepalese, Sri Lankan, Thai, Taiwanese, and more!

The Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs (MIMA) hopes you have a great Asian Pacific American Heritage Month! Some MIMA events that are happening:

Asia North 2023: TRANSition/TRANSformation/TRANScendence - Parlor (108 W North Ave, Baltimore, MD 21201) and Motor House (120 W North Ave, Baltimore MD 21201). Friday, May 5 to Saturday, June 3rd.

EmpoweReer Leadership Development Summer Program from Islamic Leadership Institute - This year Baltimore is accepting a total of 65 youth for a six-week career empowerment and leadership development program. Young adults aged 14-19 will have an opportunity to learn project management skills, leadership styles and traits, public speaking, build a professional Linkedin presence, visit global employers in Baltimore, and enjoy a couple of inspiring outdoor retreats. This is a great opportunity for those inspired to align personal development and career growth with real-life hands-on projects. Learn more and apply online at  The Program runs July 17th through August 20th, 2023. Participants are eligible to receive stipends at the end of the program based on their performance. Transportation stipends are available as needed. Note that the Program is conducted in English. For questions, email

Are You Ready to Become a US Citizen? While permanent residents have most of the rights of U.S. citizens, there are additional important reasons to also consider becoming a citizen. Listed below are a few of the many benefits a person receives when he or she becomes a U.S. citizen:

  • Ability to vote.
  • Serve on a jury.
  • Travel with a U.S. passport which allows you to get assistance from the U.S. government while overseas, if necessary.
  • Get priority when petitioning to bring family members permanently to the U.S.
  • Obtain citizenship for children under 18 years of age.
  • Apply for federal jobs.
  • Become an elected official.
  • Become eligible for federal grants and scholarships.
  • Obtain government benefits. 

For information regarding citizenship services such as application assistance, interview or exam preparation, and more in the City of Baltimore, please see the following brochures in different languages:


Source: MIMA Monthly Newsletter - May 2023. 

The mission of MIMA (Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs) is "to promote community wellbeing, economic development, and the integration of immigrant communities by identifying needs and opportunities that immigrants bring to our city, while developing public-private partnerships to strengthen the development of these communities."

 Help to Avoid Mortgage Default

Mortgage Assistance Program Expansion Estimated to Help More Than 1,000 Additional Marylanders Stay in Their Homes

Since Homeowner Assistance Fund Program Began in 2021, the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development has Assisted More Than 11,000 Marylanders Residents Behind on Payments, Housing Costs

NEW CARROLLTON (May 25, 2023) — The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development has helped more than 11,000 homeowners behind on housing-related payments, including 6,000 who were facing foreclosure, stay in their homes since the Homeowner Assistance Fund program launched in March 2021. The Department has expanded the program to add an additional option for mortgage servicers to provide eligible homeowners with relief as interest rates have risen and affected the affordability of some loan modifications. The program now is able to fund up to six months of forward payments for eligible applicants, and is estimated to help more than 1,000 additional Marylanders. 

“The department has quickly adapted the Homeowner Assistance Program to extend its reach given new housing market conditions that didn’t exist when the program started,” said Jake Day, Secretary of the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development. “This assistance supports long-term, sustainable solutions for homeowners who are still dealing with the aftereffects of pandemic-related hardships.”

The Homeowner Assistance Fund offers legal assistance, loan modifications with payment of delinquent mortgages, grants to avoid displacement due to property taxes, association and water and sewer fees, and other housing related costs. So far, the program has provided more than $125 million to eligible homeowners, with an average of $17,100 of assistance for each household.

One such homeowner, a Bowie resident, was days away from foreclosure and shared their story on working with the Maryland Homeowner Assistance Fund. 

“If it were not for DHCD and its Homeowners Assistance Fund team, I would have lost my home to foreclosure,” the resident wrote to the Department. “I was in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy and fell behind on mortgage payments due to COVID-related income reduction. I had consultations with two lawyers and they both informed me that time was not on my side and to try to sell my house as quickly as possible so I could get some equity out of it, but they were even pessimistic about that. I'm a single parent and was very scared of how losing my home would impact my 12-year-old daughter. My home was about 7 days away from a foreclosure sale when HAF stepped in and processed my application. The foreclosure sale was canceled two days later and my loan was reinstated. HAF also paid for my water bill arrears! Shout out to HAF for having such amazing staff!”

No additional application is required to be considered for the new forward payment option, and the Department is also reviewing past applications to determine if those homeowners would be eligible for the forward payment option and reaching out to them to offer assistance. For more detailed information on eligibility and to apply for assistance, go to

The HAF program was established by the American Rescue Plan Act enacted in 2021 to help homeowners experiencing financial hardship after January 21, 2020. The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Developm​ent was awarded a total of $248 million to administer through the program.

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Brandi Bottalico, Director, Office of Public Information -