Iowa Civil Rights Commission

Communicator

Our Mission is to eliminate discrimination in Iowa.Fair Lending Study Continues

Vol. 16, No. 1 Winter 1998


Fair Lending Study Continues

The Iowa Civil Rights Commission recently completed an 18-month, HUD-funded study of mortgage lending practices in eight of Iowa's largest cities.

We completed the study in six stages. In stage one, we analyzed 1994 Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) data and calculated minority/white rejection ratios and minority market shares for each lender.

In stage two, we conducted more than one hundred interviews of lending institutions, advocacy groups, city officials, regulatory agencies, real estate representatives, insurance agencies, and appraisal companies. The interviews were designed to find out what the individuals and groups believed were the fair lending issues in each community.

In stage three, we conducted 122 on-site race and national origin, pre-application mortgage lending tests. In stage four, we surveyed lenders to determine work force composition and to check on certain mortgage lending procedures.

ICRC reviewed and compared loan application files of minority and white applicants during stage five. And in stage six, we calculated community-specific segregation indices, to determine the current and past levels of segregation in each city.

Information gained from the 18-month study was summarized in "Operation Home Ownership: Final Report," issued June 2, 1997.

On November 1, 1997, we issued a follow-up report, titled, "1995 HMDA." Using 1995 HMDA data, we calculated white and minority denial rates, as well as minority/white rejection ratios for each lender in each of the eight cities. Minority/white rejection ratios were calculated based on the various income levels of the applicants. We also calculated each lender's overall mortgage loan market share and minority market share.

Both reports have been widely distributed to lenders, advocacy groups, and regulators. (If you have not received a copy of either report and would like one, call Alison Radl at 1-800-457-4416, ext. 2-6132.)

Another report, this one analyzing 1996 HMDA data, should be issued in the Spring of 1998.


Immigration Conference to be Held in March

"The Changing Face of Iowa in the 21st Century: A Conference on the Implications of Diversity and Immigration." will be held Friday, March 13, 1998 at Hawkeye Community College in Waterloo. This statewide conference is the result of collaboration by many groups during the past year.

Last year the Iowa Civil Rights Commission chose immigration as its focal issue of the year. Throughout the year, at each of its meetings, people and organizations were invited to speak on a variety of immigration issues. At one of the meetings, the Commissioners brainstormed ways to address immigration as an agency.

One of the ideas was to hold a conference. Concurrently, we learned that several other organizations were also considering immigration conferences. In the spring of 1997, representatives from these organizations were brought together by The Stanley Foundation to discuss the possibility of working together on one conference.

For several months this group of representatives has been meeting to plan the conference. This group is made up of people from The Stanley Foundation, The Des Moines Register, the Iowa Council for International Understanding, Ecumenical Ministries of Iowa, Iowa State University Extension, Iowa Division of Latino Affairs, Iowa Bureau of Refugee Services, and the Iowa Civil Righst Commission.

At the conference, topics of large group sessions will be "Ethnic Diversity, A Worldwide Perspective," "Ethnic Contributions that Built Iowa: An Historical Perspective on Immigration," and "Immigrant to Iowan: Making the Transition." There will also be working sessions on workforce development and training, education, legal issues, the role of the media, the role of the new INS offices, social and cultural issues, and changing attitudes and behaviors at the grassroots level.

For further information, please contact Dawn Peterson at 515-281-8086.