Gender-based discrimination is alive and well, and may make it harder for some Chicago women to buy a home.
A new report by the Woodstock Institute found that women in the Chicago area are more likely to be turned down for mortgages than men.
The study looked at data from more than 211,000 applicants for home purchase loans in the six counties around Chicago, including Cook, and found that female applicants were 14.5 percent less-likely to have their loan application approved. And a woman whose name was first on a joint application was 28.3 percent less-likely to receive a loan than a man applying alone.
While Spencer Cowan, a vice president at the nonprofit research institution, told the Chicago Tribune that he would be hesitant to conclude that banks are discriminating against women based on this data alone, the findings still raise questions about how women may be at a disadvantage.
"If institutions look at their own portfolios and see this kind of disparity, I would think they would look at it and ask, 'Why is this happening? Are we doing something wrong?'" he said. "Homeownership is one of the ways people build wealth, which definitely improves your chance of success in our country. If women are less able to get a mortgage to buy a house, this is just another obstacle in the way of women attaining a measure of wealth and security that's so much a part of being able to have a successful life."