How Rent-to-Own Housing Companies Target African Americans


ATLANTA—It was not until a few years after he moved in that Zachary Anderson realized he was not, in fact, the owner of the house he thought he’d purchased. Anderson had already spent tens of thousands of dollars repairing a hole in the roof, replacing a cracked sidewalk, and fixing the ceilings of the small two-bedroom home where he lives in southwest Atlanta, when he learned the truth. He was trying to get a reduction in his property taxes when his brother, who was helping him with his taxes, looked up the property in public records and found that the owner of the home was actually listed as Harbour Portfolio VII LP.

“It’s like a trick,” Anderson, a 57-year-old, told me, sitting in front of a wood-burning fireplace he’d installed in the living room…

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