The differences in mortgage denials among the three races were highlighted as part of the Jacksonville Community Council Inc. 2010 Race Relations Progress Report. In 2009, black middle-income mortgage applicants were denied conventional mortgages at a rate of 32.1 percent, double the 15.5 percent rate for whites and significantly higher than the 19.2 percent rate for Hispanics.
Yamato said under the Community Reinvestment Act, however, lenders get incentives for writing loans in under-served areas.
It's against federal law for a mortgage applicant to be denied on the basis of race, she noted.
But Danford said he doesn't rule out subtle violations of the 1968 Fair Housing Act and vestiges of a system that barred blacks from moving into primarily white neighborhoods.
Jermyn Shannon-El, co-founder of the Blacksonville Community Network, a Jacksonville website, agreed.