Low and moderate-income mortgage borrowers, and borrowers of color, withdrew from the market disproportionately during the Great Recession and have not returned, even as total lending activity has begun to recover. While these potential borrowers are applying for loans in increasing numbers, their denial rates have increased since 2009. This shift is especially surprising since communities of color, particularly Hispanics, continue to increase their share of the population. While housing finance policy cannot target the central factors driving these disparities, it should avoid creating barriers to obtaining mortgage credit for qualified borrowers and the financial benefits of homeownership.
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