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Minneapolis, Minn. – UNC Center for Community Capital executive director Janneke Ratcliffe spoke on “Assessing Housing Economy’s Vital Signs” Nov. 17 at the 26th annual Opportunity Finance Network conference for industry leaders in Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) in Minneapolis, MN

Ratcliffe discussed the latest trends, such as tighter guidelines, changing risk profiles and lender fluctuations and their disproportionate impact on weaker communities, and warns of a vicious cycle mirroring activities in 2003-2007. Her presentation is available online at

Ratcliffe and Phillip Bush, program director for the Community Foreclosure Response Initiative at Enterprise Community Partners, led the Sustainable Mortgage Lending session and shared their joint research findings from examining local and national level shifts in home purchase mortgage lending in low- and moderate-income neighborhoods following the rise of the foreclosure crisis and subsequent decline in subprime lending.

Key findings reveal tighter lending practices block qualified applicants, less qualified homebuyers mean less lending, regional differences exist in central mortgage obstacles and application rates are a poor measure of housing demand.

The annual Opportunity Finance Network is the premier annual gathering of the CDFI industry, attracting leaders and innovators from of all types of CDFIs, including banks, credit unions, loan funds and venture funds.

Ratcliffe is an expert in mortgage finance and co-author of Regaining the Dream: How to Renew the Promise of Homeownership for America’s Working Families. The new book, written with center director Roberto Quercia and senior research associate Allison Freeman, examines the real causes of the foreclosure crisis and how to rebuild a sustainable U.S. housing finance system.

Housing finance is a key area of study for the UNC Center for Community Capital, the leading center for research and policy analysis on the transformative power of capital on households and communities in the United States. The center is part of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Its in-depth analyses help policymakers, advocates and the private sector find sustainable ways to expand economic opportunity to more people, more effectively. For more information, visit or call (919) 843-2140.

Topics(s): Affordable Homeownership, Mortgage Finance
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