City council ordinance addresses racial inequities in mortgage lending

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City council ordinance addresses racial inequities in mortgage lending (Chicago, IL) – A Lending Equity Ordinance was introduced on Friday by Alderman Harry Osterman, Chairman of the Housing & Real Estate Committee of the Chicago City Council. The ordinance will provide critical lending data and create public discourse on persistent racial inequities in the mortgage lending industry, including among major financial institutions in Chicago.
The measure was drafted in partnership with the Housing Policy Task Force, a group of more than twenty affordable housing advocates, developers, and practitioners from across Chicagoland working to expand access to the wealth-building opportunities of homeownership. Key partners on the initiative were Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago (NHS), the Woodstock InstituteLISC Chicago, the Metropolitan Planning Council, and the Chicago Community Trust.
Anthony E. Simpkins, President & CEO of NHS, said of the ordinance, “Homeownership has been the primary means to access the middle class and build wealth for families in America for generations. Systemic barriers to Black and Brown people’s access to the wealth building potential of homeownership is one of the most persistent drivers of the racial wealth gap in Chicago and this country. This ordinance is a critical first step to ensure that Black and Brown residents of Chicago have the opportunity to purchase a home and build wealth for themselves, their families, and their communities.”
Chairman Harry Osterman added, “The Lending Equity Ordinance will ensure that those who want to do business with the city are also doing right by every city neighborhood. As Chairman of the Housing Committee, I will stay focused on efforts to reverse these systems and practices and will do so in continued partnership with city, state and federal elected colleagues.”
The ordinance will:
  • Publish data collected through the City’s RFP process on the City of Chicago website and Data Portal, including lending data by race, gender, and census tract
  • Create additional data submission requirements for city depository applicants, including residential and home equity loans by census tract, loan denial rates and reasons by race, gender and census tract; the number and locations of banking facilities by census tract, demographic data on bank employees, and more
  • Require at least one subject matter hearing held annually by a joint committee of the Committee on Finance and the Committee on Housing and Real Estate between September and October of each year.
The Lending Equity Ordinance was assigned to the City Council Committee on Finance and is currently co-sponsored by Alderman Pat Dowell (3), Alderman Michael Rodriguez (22), Alderman Daniel La Spata (1) and Alderman Byron Sigcho-Lopez (25) and Alderman Roberto Maldonado (26).
City council ordinance addresses racial inequities in mortgage lending

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