Notes from the 5.21.19 Mortgage Lending Committee

June 03, 2019

In case you missed the Mortgage Lending Committee Meeting on 5/21/19, details of the meeting are included below.

1) Kathryn Madden, Faculty member with the International Development, Community and Environment Department at Clark University, works closely with community development corporations in Worcester in collaboration with CEDAC and Mass. Housing Partnership. She provided an overview of housing market trends in Worcester neighborhoods in recent years. Her presentation can be found here.

2) We appreciated hearing from Curtis Wiemann, City Planner at the City of Holyoke, Massachusetts, who discussed his masters thesis, Evaluating Home Lending Patterns for Discrimination in Worcester. from 2016 while attending Clark University.  Curtis presented his approach to analyzing the 2015 HMDA data; findings – which concluded that race and lending patterns are geographically linked by income and foreclosure rates, leading to lower home lending activities to people of color; and recommendations for addressing these patterns.   We discussed how his methodology and approach might inform MCBC’s analysis and reporting of mortgage lending trends.  His presentation can be found here.

3) MCBC provided an overview of the MCBC Mortgage Lending Report 2019 Timeline and Resources. We discussed the Changing Patterns reports as well as other examples of HMDA reports published by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Urban Institute, and Association for Neighborhood & Housing Development. MCBC provided an demo of its new online, interactive data platform, the Small Business Lending Data Project, which was released in May 2019.  Access a copy of MCBC’s presentation, including updates and announcements, here.

4) Committee members are invited to join MCBC for its Data in Society Workshop on June 13th at the NonProfit Center, 89 South Street, in Boston, MA. MCBC is embarking on an exciting initiative to increase the accessibility and usability of the current mortgage and small business lending data.  That said, we recognize that our efforts to improve CRA and HMDA data digitization and visualization raise important questions about data inclusion:

·         How power, inequality, and bias show up in big data sets and impact the collection, analysis and presentation of trends?
·         How storytelling can help us translate big data into inclusion and engagement?

Join us for this free facilitated conversation and workshop with researchers from the MIT Media Lab by registering here.  We think this is a very timely discussion as the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau contemplates limiting current HMDA data reporting and closing the open API on its site.

5) MCBC is forming committee working groups. If you are interested in participating, please complete this brief (2-3 minute) survey  to indicate your interest and availability.  If you have questions about how to participate, please contact me at rstpierre@mcbc.info.
Our next  Mortgage Lending Committee meeting will be held on Tuesday, July 9th from 9:30-11:30am at Massachusetts Housing Partnership, at 160 Federal St., Worcester, MA. Register here.