“Innovation is being stifled because of fear that underwriting criteria based on making it easier to make loans for people could have a disparate impact,” Sandler says. A FIGHT NO ONE WANTS? At the center of the case is a 30-acre neighborhood outside Philadelphia of two-story, attached row houses called The Gardens that is blighted and overrun by crime. In 2000, about 1,600 people lived in the neighborhood, about two-thirds of whom were black or Hispanic. Most household incomes were far below the town’s $43,000 median. Since 2002, Mount Holly officials have sought to demolish the homes and replace them with 520 mostly market-priced apartments and townhomes; 56 would be reserved for Gardens residents.
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