Media Center

Woodstock Institute staff work with the press to provide research and policy expertise on issues ranging from foreclosures to predatory lending to banking reform and more. To reach a Woodstock expert, contact Drew Dickerson at 312-368-0310.

April 28, 2011

Access to mortgage refinance loans sharply declined in communities of color and increased substantially in predominantly white neighborhoods, according to a report released today by a multistate coalition of groups.
These trends underline growing concerns about the dramatically divergent fortunes of communities of color that have been hit hard by the foreclosure and economic crisis and white communities where the impact has been less severe.  These concerns are even more pronounced in light of recent proposed changes in mortgage financing that would likely make access to conventional refinance lending even more difficult and costly and likely disproportionately affect access to loans in communities of color.

January 13, 2011
Thousands of vacant homes in the City of Chicago are likely poorly maintained, lack clear ownership, and threaten to destabilize neighborhoods, says a report released today by Woodstock Institute.
September 14, 2010

There are sharp disparities in credit characteristics between communities of color and white communities in Illinois, a new report from Woodstock Institute found. “Bridging the Gap: Credit Scores and Economic Opportunity in Illinois Communities of Color” analyzed credit score data from a major national credit bureau for the State of Illinois and found that individuals living in communities of color were far more likely to have “non-prime” credit scores, while individuals in predominantly white communities were much more likely to have “prime” credit scores.

May 13, 2010

A report released by a multi-state collaboration of regional research, policy and advocacy organizations documents the dramatic decrease in low-cost home loans made between 2006 and 2008, and highlights that communities of color were hardest hit by the drop-off in lending.

February 4, 2010

New foreclosure filings in the Chicago six county region rose 21 percent from 2008 to 2009 despite federal, state, and local programs designed to curb the foreclosure crisis, says a new Woodstock Institute report. During the fourth quarter of 2009, the region saw 24,053 new foreclosure filings—the highest quarterly number observed since 2005.

January 20, 2010

Refund anticipation loans (RALs), which allow borrowers to receive their expected tax refunds in one to three days, cost Illinoisans more than $114 million in 2006, according to a new report. Tax filers in African-American communities were 3.5 times  more likely to use RALs than were tax filers in other communities. Over 23 percent of tax filers in African-American communities used RALs to access their refund early, while only 6.8 percent of all tax filers statewide used RALs.

November 9, 2009

Community development financial institutions (CDFIs), a critical source of credit in lower-wealth communities, need more stable and consistent sources of lending capital  to have an impact on the recovery of markets most impacted by the economic crisis, says a report from Woodstock Institute published by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco’s Center for Community Development Investments.

October 22, 2009

Checking accounts with high-cost overdraft fees are increasing older persons’ economic vulnerability, says a new report from Woodstock Institute, “Improving Economic Security Later in Life: Meeting the Credit and Financial Services Needs of Older Persons.” The controversial overdraft fees, recently under fire from Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT), particularly burden beneficiaries of Social Security payments and low-income older persons.

September 29, 2009

Vacant, lender-owned properties are concentrated in African American communities, go unsold longer, and incur greater losses to the lender, says a new report from Woodstock Institute entitled Roadblock to Recovery:  Examining the Disparate Impacts of Vacant Lender-Owned Properties in Chicago. 

July 6, 2009

Housing counselors are struggling to keep up with strong demand for foreclosure prevention services, while some communities lack counseling resources all together, according to a new report by Housing Action Illinois, a counseling advocate, and Woodstock Institute.