Publication Date



Graduate School


Public Policy and Administration

Document Type



The US grapples with a housing crisis, exacerbated in part by a shortage of conventional mortgage loans. Data from 2020 reveals a severe racial disparity, with 27.1% of Black mortgage applicants denied compared to only 13.6% of White mortgage applicants. These denial trends are highly correlated with homeownership rates. Current trends in homeownership by race mirror or exceed those present during the discriminatory practices of the 1960s. Lenders often cite low credit scores and high debt-to-income ratios as grounds for denial. Therefore, proposed solutions include mandating the inclusion of rental payment history in credit scores, offering free homebuying education, and conducting more accessible research on mortgage access. These measures aim to boost credit scores, educate borrowers, and highlight the importance of mortgage access. By implementing these policies, evidence suggests a potential increase in mortgage access, increasing access to homeownership overall and reducing its extreme racial disparity.