Chicago Neighborhood Fact Book- houses with snow

Coming in 2021, two new Fact Books: one features 2020 Dodd-
Frank Data, the other will aggregate the data from 34 years of Fact Book data to analyze long-term trends

Fact Books, A Valuable Resource

Woodstock Institute’s Community Lending Fact Book, with 2019 mortgage, business lending, and foreclosure data for all of Chicago’s 77 Community Areas and the surrounding seven-county area, is now available.

Since the first year Woodstock produced the Fact Book, in 1984, it has been a resource for community leaders and organizations, advocates, policy-makers, and financial institutions throughout the region, with information that they can use to know what is happening in their neighborhoods.

Changes coming with 2021 Fact Book

While the Fact Book has evolved over the years, the next edition, with 2020 data, will mark the most dramatic change ever. The new Fact Book will, for the first time, present the new mortgage data that lenders are reporting as required by the Dodd-Frank Act. Among other advantages, the new data will:

  • Show many more of the underwriting criteria that lenders use, such as the loan-to-value and debt-to-income in deciding whether to originate most mortgages
  • Allow Fact Book users to gain an even better understanding of the factors which affect mortgage lending in each neighborhood in Chicago and in the surrounding counties

The new Fact Book will include more information about housing in the neighborhood, including the age and type of buildings, and about when people moved into their homes.

Fact Book Two looks at long-term trends

Woodstock is also taking advantage this year of its long history publishing the Fact Book to examine long-term trends in mortgage lending in Chicago. Woodstock is looking at how lending patterns have, or have not, changed since 1984, even as Chicago’s neighborhoods have evolved over the years, using 36 years of Fact Book data.

The analysis will show the extent to which policies to promote investment in disadvantaged communities, such as the CRA, and changing community demographics may have affected lending patterns over time. One goal of this research is to inform discussion of, and promote policies to address, what appear to be long-standing disparities in access to capital in certain neighborhoods.

The seeds of those disparities were planted long ago, with Jim Crow laws, redlining, race-based zoning, racially restrictive covenants, and other tools which governments used to created the highly racially-segregated residential patterns that persist to this day. The overarching question which Woodstock is examining is whether current laws to address those disparities – the CRA, Fair Housing Act, Fair Lending Act, Equal Credit Opportunity Act, and others – are actually having the impact that Congress intended, whether they are overcoming the legacy of segregation that government helped create.

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