Three bills before the state legislature concerning "redlining"- the practice of denying mortgage loans and property insurance solely on the basis of geographic location (Sun, Feb. 5) may have a rough time becoming state law. l It seems that some state legislators are more concerned with campaign contributions from the banks and insurance companies which perpetuate redlining.
According to George Cushingberry (D-Detroit), sponsor of one of the three billsThey're playing fucking games up here [in Lansing] . Too many people are owned by the banks, and they want the banks' money come election time."
It seems Detroit banks will accept the savings of Detroiters, yet many are refusing these same people mortgage loans. The savings of Detroiters don 't go back into the community, but many times go in to financing suburban development.
State Representative Dennis Hertel (D-Detroit), who is sponsoring another of the three bills, expresses similar concern over the passage of the anti-"redlining" legislation. "We're dealing with one of the strongest lobbies there is [banks and insurance companies] ." Hertel says that redlining has been documented, and that "we need laws on the books" banning the practice.
"Banks have told people that they couldn't have loans because of the areas they lived n, or that they were living in integrated areas. They never put it in writing though."
A special task force of Governor Milliken is due to come out with a report on redlining in mid-July. If the task force can prove that redlining exists, it could be a strong impetus to getting the legislation through the assembly, despite the lobbying of banks and insurance companies to defeat the measure.---- J.P.