The new report and corresponding Fact Book are a comprehensive look into mortgage lending disparities in Massachusetts

Woodstock Institute is excited to share our new work with Partnership for Financial Equity shedding light on how the racial homeownership gap plays out in Boston and Massachusetts at large. The Mortgage Lending Matters report and corresponding Fact Book are an in-depth, comprehensive look at mortgage lending in Massachusetts to low- and moderate-income households and borrowers of color. Our hope is that this data can provide advocates with the knowledge needed to identify solutions for addressing inequitable mortgage lending in Massachusetts.  

Some key takeaways from this work include:

  • More Black and Latine homebuyers received mortgage loans in 2021 than at any time in the last 30 years. These groups are also receiving mortgages in line with their percentage of the population, while Asian homebuyers are receiving almost twice the percentage of mortgages relative to their share of Massachusetts’s population.

  • In Boston, however, racial disparities in lending are particularly pronounced. In 2021, Black and Latine borrowers received mortgages far below their respective shares of the population. Black borrowers received 7% of home purchase mortgages in the city despite making up 22.7% of the population.

  • Outside Boston, Black and Latine borrowers were way more likely than White borrowers to be issued costlier FHA mortgages, fueling greater unaffordability for borrowers of color.

For more insights, including a more detailed breakdown of lending disparities and the different types of lenders originating mortgages, check out Partnership for Financial Equity’s announcement of the new report and Fact Book.

The report also features recommendations to propel efforts at closing the racial mortgage lending gap in Massachusetts. These include greater enforcement of community reinvestment and fair lending laws, more public investment in affordable housing, and greater concerted efforts from all actors involved in the homeownership process.

Since 1986, Woodstock’s been gathering, compiling, and analyzing data on lending patterns and demographics in the Chicago area. This data is a valuable resource helping guide the decisions of policymakers, financial institutions, regulators, and community-based organizations. We’re excited to have adapted this work to Massachusetts and look forward to expanding to other states and localities in the future!

Media Coverage

WCVB – New report shows progress in homeowner equity in Massachusetts

Boston Globe – More Black and Latino homebuyers in Greater Boston, but racial homeownership gap remains stark

Dorchester Reporter – Editorial | Study gives fair look at housing loan gap

WBUR (radio)

WCVB (news clip)