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Methods & Definitions

Mortgage lending data is from information lenders are required to report under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act, which is collected and made available to the public by the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB). We used data from 2018-2020 unless otherwise indicated. Home purchase loans to owner-occupants on single-family homes are used for maps.

Action Taken 1 is considered an origination. Action Taken 1-5 are considered ‘applications’ and Action Taken 3 indicates a denial. Purchased loans, reverse mortgages, and preapprovals are not included unless specifically indicated. A small number of outliers, records missing county/state information, and records missing a loan purpose have been removed, impacting less than 1% of loan records nationally.

Census data for HMDA is drawn from the FFIEC census file for 2019 and uses the 2011 – 2015 American Community Survey data from the US Census. This data is modified by the FFIEC for use with HMDA.

Small business lending is from the FFIEC website and uses their definitions of small business. Small business data is from 2017-2019.

Person of color or minority refers to any person that is not a non-Hispanic white. In instances where race is missing, that borrower is identified by the term “no data”.

Branch deposit data comes from the annual FDIC Summary of Deposit file and is current as of June 30, 2020. Branches opened or closed since that time are not included in deposit calculations.

Census Tract: An area defined by the U.S. Census that typically has about 4,000 people living in it. Also referred to as a ‘neighborhood’ throughout this report.

Lender: A bank, mortgage company, or credit union that makes loans.

Origination: A mortgage loan on a single-family property made by a bank, mortgage company, or credit union.

Purchased Loan: A mortgage loan made on a single-family property by a third party and then bought by a bank, mortgage company, or credit union.

Application: A record created when a borrower inquires with a lender about a mortgage loan.

Denial: A mortgage loan application that the lender denies.

Small Business Loan: A loan made to a business for a loan amount of less than $1 million.

Bank Branch: A location owned by a bank that directly services customers and allows deposits or other transactions.

Minority: A person that identifies as Hispanic or any race other than White.

Majority-Minority: A census tract where 50% or more of the population is a minority.

Low-to-moderate income (LMI): A person who makes less than 80% of the metro area’s median family income (MFI). Or a census tract where the MFI is 80% or less of the MFI of the metro area.

Credits & Acknowledgements

For NCRC

Jason Richardson, Director of Research & Evaluation
Dr. Bruce Mitchell, Senior Research Analyst
Jad Edlebi, Senior GIS Specialist
Richie Lynch, Publications Manager
Alyssa Wiltse, Media Manager

In addition, we’re grateful for help from Jason Schumacher at the Tableau Foundation, and for the expertise and efforts of Jeffery Shaffer and Kevin Ferlage at Recovery Decision Science.

Redlining and Neighborhood Health

Before the pandemic devastated minority communities, banks and government officials starved them of capital.

Lower-income and minority neighborhoods that were intentionally cut off from lending and investment decades ago today suffer not only from reduced wealth and greater poverty, but from lower life expectancy and higher prevalence of chronic diseases that are risk factors for poor outcomes from COVID-19, a new study shows.

The new study, from the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) with researchers from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health and the University of Richmond’s Digital Scholarship Lab, compared 1930’s maps of government-sanctioned lending discrimination zones with current census and public health data.

Table of Content

  • Executive Summary
  • Introduction
  • Redlining, the HOLC Maps and Segregation
  • Segregation, Public Health and COVID-19
  • Methods
  • Results
  • Discussion
  • Conclusion and Policy Recommendations
  • Citations
  • Appendix

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