Woodstock in the News

September 5, 2014

By Robin Amer

When James Kpoto bought his house in Minneapolis’ Jordan neighborhood in 2001, he knew he had made a terrible mistake. He moved to the 2300 block of Ilion Avenue North at the advice of his uncle, also an immigrant from Liberia. But his uncle didn’t tell him how bad crime was there — worse than in most other areas according to police data.

“There were shootings and killings almost every day,” Kpoto recalls. “It was scary.”

September 5, 2014

By Brian Honea

The number of foreclosure filings in a six-county region in Illinois that includes Chicago dropped by nearly 38 percent from the first half of 2013 to the first half of 2014, falling to its lowest level since 2007, according to data released by the Woodstock Institute on September 4.

September 5, 2014

By Michael Romain

The more low-income and the more minority a Census tract is, the harder it is for businesses within that tract to access credit, report says

September 5, 2014

By Mary Ellen Podmolik

Initial foreclosure filings during the first half of the year were at their lowest level in the Chicago area since 2007, new data shows, but getting homes through the process and out on the other side continues to slow the local housing market's recovery in some communities more than others.

September 2, 2014
In 2010, Jimmie and Tiffany Williams received a small loan from Accion Chicago to expand Just Us Lawn Care Inc., a South Side landscaping and snow-removal business. Since then the company has blossomed, adding jobs and income that reverberate through their neighborhood economy.
August 29, 2014
Local economies suffer when neighborhood businesses can't get loans to grow, hire new workers and generate economic activity.
August 29, 2014

Small businesses in low-income, majority minority neighborhood in the Chicago area were less likely to receive loans between 2008 and 2012, according to a new report by the Woodstock Institute.

August 26, 2014

The costs and risks of overdraft protection are not well understood by many Americans. So it's no surprise that a new study using mystery shoppers found that big banks' explanations of overdraft protection programs are inconsistent and unclear.

August 22, 2014
WBEZ's Claudia Morell speaks with Woodstock Institute Vice President, Spencer Cowan, about the disparate access to bank lending for Chicago area businesses. “There may be business owners in those neighborhoods who don’t think that they will qualify for bank financing and don’t even apply.” Cowan says these neighborhoods need capital the most. “They can hire, they can pay people who live in the neighborhood to work and those people then have resources to buy and to increase economic activity, to invest, to become homeowners and to build wealth.”
August 20, 2014

By Sarah Needleman

7:20 EDT - Amid a slow recovery in US small-business lending, a report out today suggests that small firms in low-income communities are struggling the most. Between 2008 and 2012, small businesses in such neighborhoods in the Chicago metro area received $817M less than their share of overall business credit, reports Woodstock Institute, a nonprofit that analyzed data from Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council, US Census and Department of Housing and Urban Development. "Just like the housing recovery, it's not even," says the study's author, Spencer Cowan. "If we have areas that are not growing, those will slow down the recovery for the entire nation." (sarah.needleman@wsj.com; @saraheneedleman)