Journal of Housing and the Built Environment

, Volume 25, Issue 1, pp 117–124 | Cite as

Patterns of discrimination against Blacks and Hispanics in the US mortgage market

  • Christine BarwickEmail author
Policy and Practice


The mortgage market in the United States has seen tremendous changes during the last years, most important of which is the evolution and growth of the secondary market and the accompanied increase in subprime lending. Traditionally depository institutions as banks and thrifts were the main issuers of mortgages. Nowadays, however, the mortgage market is occupied by many more institutions and agents, who are issuing a large share of mortgages. On the positive side, the growth of the subprime market has increased homeownership rates for low-income and minority households. On the negative side, however, statistics suggest that Blacks and Hispanics extensively rely on subprime loans. This is critical insofar as some of those households would have qualified for a less costly prime mortgage. Moreover, there is evidence that minorities—most of which are concentrated in certain neighborhoods—are purposely targeted to purchase a subprime loan which is not suited to their financial abilities. Thus, the current crisis, and accompanied foreclosures of homes, can be expected to disproportionately affect Blacks and Hispanics.


Discrimination Housing Minorities Mortgage Market Segregation Subprime mortgages 


  1. Apgar, W. C., & Calder, A. (2005). The dual mortgage market: The persistence of discrimination in mortgage lending. Cambridge: Harvard University, Joint Center for Housing Studies.Google Scholar
  2. Apgar, W., Bendimerad, A., & Essene, R. S. (2007). Mortgage market channels and fair lending: An analysis of hmda data. Cambridge: Harvard University, Joint Center for Housing Studies.Google Scholar
  3. Boehm, T. P., Thistle, P. D., & Schlottmann, A. (2006). Rates and race: An analysis of racial disparities in mortgage rates. Housing Policy Debate, 17(1), 109–149.Google Scholar
  4. Calem, P. S., Hershaff, J. E., & Wachter, S. M. (2004). Neighborhood patterns of subprime lending: Evidence from disparate cities. Housing Policy Debate, 15(3), 603–622.Google Scholar
  5. Frame, W. S., & White, L. J. (2005). Fussing and fuming over fannie and freddie: How much smoke, how much fire? Journal of Economic Perspectives, 19(2), 159–184.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Friedman, S., & Squires, G. D. (2005). Does the community reinvestment act help minorities access traditionally inaccessible neighborhoods? Social Problems, 52(2), 209–231.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy. (2008). State of New York city’s housing and neighborhoods 2008. New York: New York University.Google Scholar
  8. Garr, D. J. (1998). Refinancing. In W. van Vliet (Ed.), The encyclopedia of housing (p. 463). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  9. Gramlich, E. M. (2007). Booms and busts: The case of subprime mortgages. Economic Review, 92(4), 105–113.Google Scholar
  10. Haffner, M. E. A. (2008). Subsidization as a motor to residential mortgage securitization in the US. Journal of Housing and the Built Environment, 23, 337–351.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Iceland, J., Weinberg, D. H.,& Steinmetz, E. (2002, May). Racial and Ethnic Segregation in the United States, 1980–2000. Paper presented at the annual meetings of the Population Association of America, Atlanta, Georgia.Google Scholar
  12. Immergluck, D. (2004). Credit to the community: Community reinvestment and fair lending policy in the United States. Armonk, NY: ME Sharpe.Google Scholar
  13. Immergluck, D., & Smith, G. (2005). Measuring the Effect of Subprime Lending on Neighborhood Foreclosures: Evidence from Chicago. Urban Affairs Review, 40(3), 362–389.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Marcuse, P., & Keating, W. D. (2006). The Permanent Housing Crisis: The Failure of Conservatism and the Limitations of Liberalism. In R. G. Bratt (Ed.), A right to housing. Foundation for a new social agenda (pp. 139–162). Philadelphia: Temple University Press.Google Scholar
  15. Massey, D. S., & Denton, N. A. (1993). American apartheid: Segregation and the making of the underclass. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  16. Renuart, E. (2004). An overview of the predatory mortgage lending process. Housing Policy Debate, 15(3), 467–502.Google Scholar
  17. Rosenbaum, E., & Friedman, S. (2007). The housing divide. How generations of immigrants fare in New York’s housing market. New York/London: New York University Press.Google Scholar
  18. Schwartz, A. F. (2006). Housing policy in the United States. An introduction. New York/London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  19. Squires, G. D. (1998a). Community reinvestment act. In W. van Vliet (Ed.), The Encyclopedia of Housing (pp. 70–71). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  20. Squires, G. D. (1998b). Redlining. In W. van Vliet (Ed.), The encyclopedia of housing (pp. 462–463). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  21. Squires, G. D., & Kubrin, C. E. (2006). Privileged places race, residence, and the structure of opportunity. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers.Google Scholar
  22. Stone, M. E. (2006). Housing affordability: One-third of a nation shelter-poor. In R. G. Bratt (Ed.), A right to housing. Foundation for a new social agenda (pp. 38–60). Philadelphia: Temple University Press.Google Scholar
  23. Turner, M. A., Ross, S. L., Galster, G. C., & Yinger, J. (2002). Discrimination in metropolitan housing markets: National results from phase I hds 2000. Washington, DC: Urban Institute.Google Scholar
  24. Wilkes, R., & Iceland, J. (2004). Hypersegregation in the twenty-first century. Demography, 41(1), 22–36.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Humboldt-UniversityBerlinGermany
  2. 2.BerlinGermany

Personalised recommendations