Ken Haas

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Poster 1: How well are different urban areas and communities served by traditional financial institutions? Are some communities persistently underserved, and if so, what are the factors that explain under-investment in those areas? Our project explores these questions by examining bank mortgage lending in the metro Hartford area. We employ a multi-method approach to the analysis of individual-level data and a two-stage quantitative analysis of neighborhood-level data in order to uncover the factors behind varying levels of bank mortgage lending. We find that the approval rate of individual mortgage applications differs by race, and that the neighborhood in which a dwelling is found affects mortgage approvals. These findings point to the next step in our research project, and underpin the importance of community-based institutions that advocate on behalf of underserved Hartford communities for greater access to banking services and investment. Increased homeownership and investment in local businesses are critical for community revitalization. Poster 2: Lending by banks for home mortgages varies greatly across neighborhoods. Do neighborhoods in which lending is high, or in which lending is low, have anything in common? Several studies have found a relationship between bank lending and the demographic and socioeconomic characteristics of the neighborhood in which the house is located. This study looks across neighborhoods in the Hartford Metropolitan Area in 2011 and in 2015 to see if these same demographic and socioeconomic characteristics are significant in explaining the variation in bank loans for home mortgages. The neighborhood characteristics that are important in explaining the variation in banking lending include the percentage of minority households in the local census tracts, the percentage of owner-occupied dwellings, the level of poverty, and the median income level in the neighborhood.


Community Partner: Hartford Community Loan Fund