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Policy Updates

Increasing Access to Homeownership through Policy Advocacy


A Look at the numbers…

Black and Brown homebuyers have been historically denied equal access to homeownership through intentional financial tools and government policies. This includes past practices such as redlining and contract buying, and continues today with higher loan denial rates, risk-based loan pricing, and opaque credit scoring procedures.

Today’s data shows that unequal access to credit is the driving force perpetuating the homeownership and racial wealth gap, with White families having 10x the net worth of Black families, and White homeownership being 73% compared to just 42% for Black families.


NHS Chicago is dedicated to closing this racial homeownership gap through policy advocacy, research, and education.



Housing Policy Taskforce

First convened in 2016, The Housing Policy Task force is a group of more than 20 affordable housing advocates and professionals working to remove barriers to homeownership, expand the supply of affordable homes, and help current homeowners thrive and build wealth.

The Task Force is currently focused on addressing two aspects of homeownership access: Equity in Mortgage Access and Equity in Home Appraisals

  • Equity in Mortgage Access

    NHS works with a variety of Task Force members, including the Woodstock Institute and LISC Chicago, to address barriers in mortgage lending that keep borrowers of color from advancing through the process.

    • Lending Equity Ordinance

      The recently passed City of Chicago Lending Equity Ordinance, championed by the Housing Policy Task Force, increases transparency and accountability in banking by giving the public access to critical lending data.

      The LEO accomplishes the following:

      • Requires lenders to publish data on loan interest rates by race, staff diversity, and lending volume
      • Makes lending data publicly available
      • Establishes an annual City Council hearing to discuss lending data and hear from impacted individuals.

      For more information, please read our fact sheet.

    • Mortgage Access Initiative

    • This initiative is a collaborative effort of financial institutions, mortgage lenders, CDFIs, and housing advocates to increase mortgage access for Black and Brown borrowers in the Chicagoland area.

      The MAI works to address the underlying mortgage lending systems that result in higher denial rates for Black and Brown borrowers. We aim to accomplish this by:

      • Partnering with banks to identify barriers in mortgage lending and working together to implement solutions
      • Engaging with residents to and consumers to better understand the nuances of the homeownership journey
  • Equity in Appraisals

    NHS is working with the Chicago Rehab Network and other advocates to address the systemic undervaluation of Black and Brown homes and neighborhoods in Chicago. We are currently engaging with appraisers, realtors, financial institutions, homebuyers, and homeowners to reform the appraisal process and address its longstanding racial inequities.

    • Collecting Appraisal Stories

      We are currently collecting the stories of homeowners and homebuyers who have had a negative experience with appraisers and/or have received low appraisals.

      If you have experienced issues with your appraisal, please fill out our Appraisal Incident Survey

    • Appraisal Reform

      We are currently working to reform the appraisal process by:

      • Improving complaint systems at the state and national levels
      • Increasing consumer protections with state and national regulatory agencies to address appraisal complaints
      • Developing best practices for equity in the appraisal process by studying federal regulations and their local implementation in home valuations