The goal of this report is to examine one segment of community economic activity -- home lending -- in the Benton Harbor-St. Joseph area. We aim to identify potential disparities and develop ways to improve access to affordable mortgage credit for low- and moderate-income community residents, particularly those in Benton Harbor. The availability of fairly priced housing credit is critical to the stability of a community. Without it, properties deteriorate and may eventually be abandoned, and modest-income families see their chief method of building wealth undermined. An analysis of mortgage lending in a community can indicate practices that contribute to disinvestment in an area. Examining lending patterns serves to identify credit needs and indicate opportunities for improved lending practices.
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