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HUD TO USE INTERNET TO HELP RAISE MINORITY HOMEOWNERSHIP RATE AS HOME MORTGAGES TO BLACKS, LATINOS RISE $9.9 BILLION SINCE 1993
WASHINGTON -- The Department of Housing and Urban Development will use the Internet to help communities increase home mortgage loans to minorities, following a strong increase of $9.9 billion in the value of mortgage loans to blacks and Latinos from 1993 through 1995.
Housing Secretary Henry G. Cisneros today announced the new homeownership initiative, called Democratizing Data, as he released statistics showing progress in the first three years of the Clinton Administration on the rate of minority home loans.
"We want to build on the good news of increased home mortgage loans to African Americans and Latinos to drive up the minority homeownership rate," Cisneros said.
The number of home mortgage loans rose by 48 percent for African Americans and by 37 percent for Latinos from 1993 through 1995, Cisneros said. New data show that the dollar value of the 240,000 mortgages issued to blacks in 1995 was $19.3 billion -- $5.7 billion more than 1993.
The dollar value of the 216,000 mortgages to Latinos in 1995 was $19 billion -- $4.2 billion more than 1993.
Cisneros said the Democratizing Data initiative makes data on mortgage lending patterns widely accessible to lenders, community groups and others on the Internet's World Wide Web. HUD placed the 1995 data on the Internet this week to allow people to easily obtain detailed information on home loan applications, approvals and denials from 9,500 lending institutions.
Community groups can use the information to work with lenders on outreach programs to increase home loans to underserved groups and areas. The media can use the data to learn more about local lending practices. Lenders can use the data to assess their performance in meeting lending goals.
The new information can be accessed from the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) Area Report (was linked to http://www.rtk.net/www/data/hmda_area.html) . Data is also available through HMDA (RTK NET) (was linked to www.rtk.net). HUD has been working on the Democratizing Data initiative since 1994 and has invested $450,000 to launch the project.
The data HUD has placed on the Internet show where loans were made in a particular geographic area, by individual lenders, and to different population groups identified by race, national origin, sex and annual income.
"By providing this information to communities, we make it easier for lenders and community groups to work together to increase home mortgages to minorities," Cisneros said. "This increase in loans helps boost the nation's homeownership rate, which now stands at 65.4 percent -- the highest level in nearly 16 years." A record 66.1 million Americans own their homes.
While the rate of minority homeownership has risen over the past two years -- up 2 percentage points for blacks and up 2.8 points for Latinos -- it still lags far behind the overall homeownership rate. The homeownership rate for blacks is 44 percent and the rate for Latinos is 43.9 percent -- more than 20 points below the national rate.
In addition, the new data show that while only 20.6 percent of white applicants were denied home mortgages, 40.5 percent of black applicants and 29.5 percent of Latino applicants were denied mortgages last year. "Our challenge is to reduce the gap between minority homeownership and the homeownership rate for the rest of America," Cisneros said. "We're doing this in many ways. These include our success in cutting the cost of FHA-backed loans, holding down interest rates, increasing employment, creating a public-private partnership to boost homeownership, helping more Americans qualify for mortgages, and now the Democratizing Data initiative." HUD calculated the value of the mortgage loans to minorities based on data released this week under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act. HMDA requires commercial banks, savings associations, credit unions and mortgage companies that make about 80 percent of home mortgage loans in the nation to disclose data on loan applications they process. The data cover conventional loans and loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration and the Veterans Administration.
Content Archived: January 20, 2009