International Development, Community and Environment (IDCE)

Date of Award


Degree Type

Research Paper

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Community Development and Planning (CDP)


International Development, Community and Environment

Chief Instructor

Kathryn Madden

Second Reader

Yelena Ogneva-Himmelberger


This paper analyzes home lending trends measured in dollars lent per census tract per capita in Worcester, MA, in order to determine whether anti-discrimination measures have been successful, and to suggest this framework for analysis and policy remedies for cities with similar challenges. When analyzed alone with Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and conventional lending by tract, proportional rates of African-American residency were found to be negatively correlated with conventional lending, and Hispanic residency was found to be negatively correlated with both conventional and FHA lending, rejecting the null hypothesis that race/ethnicity and home lending would have no observable relationship. When compared in multi-variate analysis alongside other neighborhood characteristics that could influence mortgage lending, however, rates of owner-occupancy, foreclosures, and median income were discovered to be strongly correlated with home lending trends, while race/ethnicity was not. Given these findings, there is insufficient evidence to conclude the active presence of discriminatory lending, but the sum of these analyses demonstrates a statistically significant link between low to median income, low homeownership, and Hispanic and African-American population in the city of Worcester.





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