(Iowa Civil Rights Commission; 07/29/97; 0800)
IOWA CIVIL RIGHTS COMMISSION RECEIVES AWARD
On July 23, 1997, the Iowa State Offices of HUD and USDA Rural Development
presented the Iowa Civil Rights Commission with the "Fair Housing Achievement
Award" for its work in studying mortgage lending practices in eight
of Iowa's largest communities. Accepting the Award for the Commission were
Alison Radl, Aaron Wilmot, and Tim Cook -- staff members of the mortgage
lending investigative team.
The Commission completed the 18-month study of mortgage lending practices
in Cedar Rapids, Council Bluffs, Davenport, Des Moines, Dubuque, Iowa City,
Sioux City, and Waterloo/Cedar Falls in early-June 1997.
"The purpose of the study was to begin the investigation into the
reasons for the disparity in white and minority home ownership rates. Nearly
4% of Iowa's population is minority but less than 2% of Iowa's homeowners
are minority," says Executive Director Don Grove. "We did the
study to help us determine to what extent and in what way discrimination
may account for the disparity."
In the course of the study, titled "Operation Home Ownership,"
the Commission reviewed and analyzed mortgage lending activity data, conducted
hundreds of interviews with persons involved in the industry, calculated
segregation indices to determine the level of segregation in each community,
conducted 122 on-site race and national origin fair lending tests, surveyed
more than 100 lenders to determine workforce composition and adherence to
certain application procedures, and reviewed and compared loan application
case files of white and minority applicants.
For more information about the Mortgage Lending Study or to receive a
copy of the final report, please call Don Grove at 515-281-8084.