Institute on Metropolitan Opportunity’s Research Helps Yield $16M+ Fair Housing Settlement

The Institute on Metropolitan Opportunity played a pivotal role in a case against a Connecticut-based bank that yielded a $16M-plus fair housing settlement.

As a part of a broader effort to evaluate lending patterns in Connecticut, the Institute produced data that suggested that Liberty Bank disproportionately located branch locations in white neighborhoods, excluded African American and Latinx neighborhoods from its service area, and treated loan applicants differentially based on race and ethnicity. The Institute furnished the data to the National Consumer Law Center and the Connecticut Fair Housing Center, which filed suit against the bank for alleged violations of the Fair Housing Act. 

Liberty Bank settled the case on March 4, 2019, agreeing to provide more than $16 million to low and moderate-income communities of color in credit access, homeownership subsidies, and economic development loans.

The Institute’s findings were not restricted to a single bank. In its report, the Institute detailed additional racial lending disparities throughout Connecticut. The Connecticut Fair Housing Center will continue to monitor lending activity in the state and work with Liberty Bank to ensure that affected communities gain meaningful access to credit, subsidies, and loans.

Myron Orfield
Myron Orfield
Earl R. Larson Professor of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Law
Director, Institute on Metropolitan Opportunity