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Publication Date

September 2014


Allison Freeman


Ford Foundation

Research shows that the best way to ensure the wealth-building effects of homeownership for low- and moderate-income families is a return to common-sense practices of the past.

Before the mortgage finance crisis, borrowers obtained mortgages from local institutions with which they had an ongoing relationship; loans were carefully underwritten with a focus on borrowers’ ability to repay, and were issued for long-term affordability.

In the mortgage finance crisis, this stable approach to lending got turned on its head, with disastrous results. Losses associated with the crisis have left some questioning the efficacy of lending to LMI borrowers. However, one program, Self-Help’s Community Advantage Program (CAP), provides clear evidence that LMI borrowers can enter into and sustain homeownership.


Topics(s): Affordable Homeownership, Community Advantage Program, Default, Bankruptcy, & Foreclosure, Housing Policy, Mortgage Finance, Other