“We still have challenging issues to address: America’s discriminatory dual credit market, resurgent redlining practices, sexual harassment by unscrupulous landlords, and discrimination against those who have a criminal record, to name a few.”

Lisa Rice is a proven leader and advocate for fair housing and fair lending who fights discrimination. As the keynote speaker for the 2020 Access to Justice Awards Celebration, Ms. Rice will address the current impacts of redlining and discriminatory housing policies.

“In times of crisis, the worst aspects of society can sometimes be displayed. Since the COVID-19 virus began its spread, there have been reports of increased discrimination against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, and we have seen irrational acts of xenophobia. We also know, from decades of experience, that in times of crisis, women are particularly susceptible to acts of sexual harassment from their landlords and other housing and financial services providers.”

For 25 years, the former Toledo resident has been committed to managing and leading fair housing organizations. She has led teams that investigated, brought, and resolved precedent-setting fair housing cases resulting in the elimination of systemic discriminatory practices in the areas of lending, appraisals, insurance, rental, and real estate. Ms. Rice played a major role in crafting sections of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act and in establishing the Office of Fair Lending within the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

As President and CEO of the National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA), Lisa Rice leads efforts by NFHA and its partners to advance fair housing principles and to preserve and broaden fair housing protections, expanding equal housing opportunities for millions of Americans. In her 11+ years at NFHA, Ms. Rice has worked extensively to advance fair housing principles and to preserve and broaden fair housing protections, expanding equal housing opportunities for millions of Americans. Prior to becoming President and CEO, she served as NFHA’s Executive Vice President and managed the organization’s resource development, public policy, communications, and enforcement divisions.

Prior to working at NFHA, Ms. Rice served as the CEO of the Toledo Fair Housing Center where she generated a reserve fund of over $10 million for the organization. Recognizing the need for funds to help Toledo homebuyers, she established the Northwest Ohio Development Agency, a community development financial institution that provides below-market interest loans, grants, and financial services to historically under-served markets. She also developed and implemented Restoring the Dream, the State of Ohio’s first anti-predatory lending remediation program. Under the program, hundreds of consumers victimized by predatory lending practices were refinanced into affordable, sustainable prime loans or received loan modifications to help them avoid foreclosure.

“If a community says we have no affordable housing in our community, we want to build some and we want some of that affordable housing to be built for very low-income people, a community could definitely do that. That might meet the fair housing needs of the residents who live in that community,” Rice explained. “It cannot be said that building low-income housing fulfills all fair housing goals.”

“We still have challenging issues to address: America’s discriminatory dual credit market, resurgent redlining practices, sexual harassment by unscrupulous landlords, and discrimination against those who have a criminal record, to name a few.”

Ms. Rice is a published author, having contributed to several books and journals on a range of fair housing issues, including a chapter entitled “The Fair Housing Act: A Tool for Expanding Access to Quality Credit” in the book honoring the 50th Anniversary of the Fair Housing Act: The Fight for Fair Housing: Causes, Consequences, and Future Implications of the 1968 Federal Fair Housing Act (Squires, ed., 2018).

Ms. Rice is a member of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights Board of Directors, Center for Responsible Lending Board of Directors, JPMorgan Chase Consumer Advisory Council, Mortgage Bankers Association’s Consumer Advisory Council, Freddie Mac Affordable Housing Advisory Council, Urban Institute’s Mortgage Servicing Collaborative, and Quicken Loans Consumer Advisory Forum.

Jose TrujilloLisa Rice: 2020 Access to Justice Awards Keynote Speaker