MCBC announces research partnership with University of Massachusetts Donahue Institute

March 12, 2020

For immediate release

Contact:   Regan St. Pierre, Executive Director

Contact information: rstpierre@mcbc.info

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS – The Massachusetts Community & Banking Council, Inc. (MCBC) is pleased to announce a three-year research partnership with the Economic & Public Policy Research Group (EPPR) at the University of Massachusetts Donahue Institute.

To inform its membership and programming, MCBC will contract with EPPR to analyze and report on mortgage lending and small business lending trends in the state of Massachusetts.

“By presenting a careful description of lending trends that everyone can agree is fair and accurate, we can have an informed and constructive discussion about how to support first-time homebuyers and entrepreneurs  in traditionally underbanked neighborhoods,” Gonzalo Puigbo, People’s United Bank’s Vice President, CRA & Community Development Officer for Northern New England and MCBC’s Mortgage Lending Co-chair.

EPPR will address key research questions set forth by MCBC’s membership that will be informed by publicly available mortgage and small business lending data.

“Historically, MCBC’s reports have been widely referenced by Massachusetts small banks and financial institutions, municipalities and philanthropic/nonprofit organizations. The reports are easily accessible and clearly illustrate how credit is flowing in our communities,” Regan St. Pierre, Executive Director of MCBC.

“We are excited to develop, with MCBC, data analyses and dynamic visual tools to contextualize banking trends in the state and help provide information on underserved communities for residents, mortgage originators and small business lenders in the Commonwealth,” said EPPR Director Mark Melnik, PhD.

EPPR specializes in analyzing economic and non‐economic policy issues affecting Massachusetts, New England and the nation. EPPR has unparalleled experience and expertise working with economic and demographic data, including all U.S. Census data products as well as a wealth of other publicly available demographic, social, economic and housing data from national and state sources.

Later this year, EPPR’s work with MCBC will culminate in an online data exploration and visualization tool hosted on the MCBC website that will serve a companion to report publications. Additionally, EPPR will share research findings at MCBC-hosted forums.

“Ultimately, the goal of this effort is to contribute to the much-needed conversation about how to improve credit flows to homebuyers and small business owners across Massachusetts, particularly in minority neighborhoods” Elliot Schmiedl, Director of Homeownership at Massachusetts Housing Partnership and MCBC’s Mortgage Lending Committee Co-chair.

Prior reports can be accessed on MCBC’s website http://mcbc.info/publications/

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About MCBC: The Massachusetts Community & Banking Council was established in 1990 to bring together community organizations and financial institutions to affect positive change in the availability of credit and financial services across Massachusetts.  MCBC facilitates positive change by 1) encouraging community investment in low and moderate income and minority group neighborhoods and by 2) providing research and direction in understanding the credit and financial needs of low- and moderate-income individuals and neighborhoods. MCBC operates as an independent 501(c)(6) membership organization with a governing board of directors and active membership representing leading community organizations and financial institutions across the state.

About UMass Donahue Institute: Established in 1971, the UMass Donahue Institute is a public service, research, and economic development arm of the University of Massachusetts President’s Office. Their mission is to apply theory and innovation to solve real world challenges and enable clients to meet their goals. They serve clients in the public, non‐profit, and private sectors in the Commonwealth and throughout the nation and the world. The work underway with MCBC will be conducted by the institute’s Economic and Public Policy Research (EPPR) group.