Woodstock in the News

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)

August 15, 2014

By Richard Webner

A decade ago, the South Side reveled in a surge of development, with condos and town houses sprouting from some of its empty lots.

August 11, 2014

By Steve Sadin

Lake County Circuit Judge Mitch Hoffman of Highland Park has been stemming the tide of foreclosure suits one home at a time, taking his message about the court’s Mortgage Foreclosure Mediation Program on the road.

August 11, 2014

By Herb Weisbaum

Checking accounts—and the debit cards that come with them—should be a simple and straightforward way to handle routine financial transactions. And yet, many people simply don't understand the overdraft policies at their bank or credit union.

August 5, 2014

By Kevin Wack

For the last four years, U.S. regulators have been requiring banks to offer their customers a choice on overdraft fees. And in response, most consumers have opted not to run the risk of incurring large fees in exchange for the ability to spend more than they have.

July 29, 2014
WSIL -- Millions of Illinois workers do not have access to retirement savings through their jobs, but Senator Daniel Biss is hoping to change that.
July 25, 2014
Chicago’s housing market has been recovering steadily in recent years. The rate of foreclosure filings has gone down across the city since the housing crisis, and home prices have significantly increased compared to a year ago. But some neighborhoods aren’t recovering nearly as fast as others. WBEZ’s Susie An has the details on one reason why that may be. Spencer Cowan, Vice President of the Woodstock Institute, offers some history on why some neighborhoods are slower to rebound than others.
July 9, 2014
The head of federal agency that oversees housing finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac visited Chicago today to tout the government's mortgage relief program, but didn't satisfy some local advocates who say the agency isn't doing enough to help struggling homeowners.