Access to Mortgage Credit

Access to mortgage credit helps families build wealth and is vital to community prosperity. Woodstock Institute works to ensure that all communities can access sustainable, affordable mortgages.

Woodstock Institute Theory of Change graphic
April 20, 2016

In this first part of our Theory of Change series of blog posts and images, Woodstock President Dory Rand explains the ways in which Woodstock Institute is working to achieve our mission of creating a just financial system in which lower-wealth people and communities, and people and communities of color, can achieve economic security and community prosperity. In this series, our research and policy staff will discuss the strategies we use to effect positive, lasting financial systems change. 

This is an image of a home for sale.
March 25, 2016

The number of home purchase mortgage applications decreased in 2014 compared to 2013, but origination rates were up across the board in the Chicago six county region. 

Illinois State Capitol Building
March 1, 2016

Illinois’s legislative session is in full swing, and Woodstock is monitoring many bills that fall within the scope of our mission: to create a just financial system in which lower-wealth persons and communities as well as people and communities of color can achieve economic security and prosperity.  Here are some of the bills that we are supporting this session.

Morgage picture
February 24, 2016
The recent announcement of a new Bank of America lending product seemingly meets a number of issues currently plaguing the mortgage market. Further, this product looks to be able to extend mortgages to creditworthy low-income borrowers.
December 2, 2015

Presented by Spencer Cowan at the South Side Builders Association

November 30, 2015

By Maureen Foertsch McKinney

Tristian Ellis’ test scores in reading and math dropped dramatically this fall from last. The difference: the Ellis family had its own apartment last year. Now, the family of four stays in a shelter on Chicago’s far north side.

Tags: Homelessness
November 6, 2015

Presented by Spencer Cowan at the Housing Action Illinois Annual Conference 

July 31, 2015

A new report released by the Woodstock Institute shows that women in the Chicago area are almost 15% less likely to qualify for a mortgage then their male counterparts. This is generated questions across the industry about whether this data could be true for other locations.

June 29, 2015

By Justin da Rosa

According to a report released by the Woodstock Institute Wednesday, women in Chicago are 14.5 percent less likely to qualify for a mortgage than men.

June 29, 2015

By Phil Hall

A new study covering home loan applications in the Chicago metro region points to a disparity between the number of men and women that receive a mortgage. However, the study’s sponsor is not rushing to declare a lethal case of Windy City gender discrimination.

June 23, 2015

Gender-based discrimination is alive and well, and may make it harder for some Chicago women to buy a home.

June 17, 2015

By Gregory Karp

Women in the Chicago area are generally less likely to receive mortgages than men, a phenomenon that could hinder women's ability to build wealth and establish financial security, according to a report to be released Wednesday by the Woodstock Institute.

June 17, 2015

Women are at a distinct disadvantage compared to men in accessing mortgages and refinancing their homes, new Woodstock Institute research report has found. The report found significant gender disparities across all purchase and refinance mortgages at several major banks.

June 15, 2015

This study examines women’s access to mortgages in the Chicago six county region to determine whether female mortgage applicants may be disadvantaged in securing financing to either purchase a home or refinance one already owned. This research examines additional factors, beyond the race or ethnicity of the applicant, which may be contributing to the disparities in origination rates. Using HMDA data for the period 2011 to 2013, the research explores three factors that may be correlated with disparities in origination rates for female applicants: 1) the income level of the borrower; 2) the type of loan applied for; and 3) the geographic location of the property within the Chicago region. In addition, we analyzed data from all lenders that reported receiving at least one percent of all applications for the study period to see if there were differences in origination rates among the institutions.

March 23, 2015

This Women’s History Month, we at Woodstock Institute are reflecting on how women are still at a disadvantage in the areas of income and wealth and what can be done to address that disparity. One of the common ways in which people build assets is by purchasing a home. Woodstock Institute’s research has shown that women are at a distinct disadvantage in obtaining mortgage credit. The Unequal Opportunity report found that applications from women were less likely than applications from men to be originated and that female-headed joint applications were less likely than male-headed joint applications to be approved. We are completing follow-up research which includes a look into whether certain neighborhoods experience more gender disparities in access to mortgage credit than others and suggestions for policy and practice solutions to expand women’s access to mortgage credit. 

Tags: women
February 18, 2015

By Angie Bailey

COLUMBIA - Despite laws on the books meant to prevent charging women more for the same products and services, women generally still shell out more than men for nearly identical products.

November 19, 2014

By Mary Ellen Podmolik

Kristin Faust has many concerns when it comes to housing, homeownership and neighborhoods, but prime among them is the disappearance of the middle class.

Less than two months into her new job as president of Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago, Faust is driving neighborhoods, meeting funders and studying data to formulate a strategy to carry on the nonprofit's mission.

November 12, 2014

By Mary Ellen Podmolik 

Fair housing groups 21 months ago hailed a rule finalized by the federal government that was intended to clarify federal fair housing protections that have been in place for more than 45 years.

Tags: housing
October 29, 2014

Mortgage data from the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) allows researchers and advocates to examine trends in the mortgage and housing market and, more importantly, detect patterns of discrimination.

October 29, 2014
This letter commends the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) for proposing rules that expand the reporting requirements for the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA). The letter urges the CFPB to further strengthen the rules by separately reporting cash-out and rate- and term-refinances,...
October 28, 2014
This letter to the Federal Housing Finance Agency affirms the importance of creating strong affordable housing goals for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to promote access to mortgage credit for lower-wealth borrowers. It urges the FHFA to strengthen the affordable housing goals by adopting...
July 9, 2014

Minority borrowers are far less likely than their white counterparts to get approved for a mortgage, according to a new Urban Institute study.

June 5, 2014

Last year, thousands of consumers filed complaints with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) regarding financial products. In Illinois, complaints from consumers focused on mortgage services, banking services, credit cards, and other critical services.

Tags: cfpb
May 27, 2014
Johnson-Crapo plan could slash access to government-backed mortgages
April 21, 2014
We have a unique opportunity to influence the debate around restructuring the housing finance system.
Data portal graph
April 14, 2014

Nearly a year ago, Woodstock launched our online data portal in order to deliver meaningful data on the Chicago six county region for our community partners in a user-friendly way.

March 6, 2014

U.S. Bank announced earlier this year it intended to purchase Chicago-area branches of RBS Citizens/Charter One Bank.

Dory Rand at NCRC2013
February 13, 2014

Every year Woodstock Institute staff and dozens of allies from Illinois go to Washington, DC, in the spring to galvanize the community reinvestment movement, learn about the latest developments, and visit our elected officials and regulators. 2014 is no different.

Tags: ncrc