“PHILADELPHIA – Jonathan Jacobs had almost no savings, a modest income and a credit report marred by a disputed cellphone bill. But he easily bought a newly renovated row house in Point Breeze, a South Philadelphia neighborhood that’s historically African American.
“‘It took about 15 minutes’ to fill out the paperwork, the career counselor said. ‘Now I pay less to own a house than I did to rent an apartment. That’s the American dream.’
“Jacobs, who is white, got a special home loan from New Jersey-based TD Bank that is designed to help low-income people and blighted neighborhoods, where banks are required to lend under the landmark Community Reinvestment Act of 1977. The law was designed to correct the damage of redlining, a now-illegal practice in which the government warned banks away from neighborhoods with high concentrations of immigrants and African Americans.
“But the law didn’t anticipate a day when historically black neighborhoods would be sought out by young white homebuyers.”
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