School of Public Policy Capstones

Publication Date



This study proposes the research question: are banks lending in such a way that under serves the residents of Springfield, resulting in low rates of homeownership? The study finds that empirical differences in lending patterns exists between Springfield and the neighboring communities, between local and non-local banks, and between applicants of different racial and ethnic groups. Statistical analyses at the Census tract level suggest that factors like race and ethnicity do have a negative effect on rates of owner occupancy and loan originations, even when controlling for income. Models measuring the effect of the same variables on loan denials yield less convincing results. The study concludes with a discussion of the practical limitations of the methodology and proposes possible directions for future housing research and policy.