Home > banking, community development, social entrepreneurs, Uncategorized > Working to Build Better Communities: Lending Barriers to Stabilizing Neighborhoods in Detroit.

Working to Build Better Communities: Lending Barriers to Stabilizing Neighborhoods in Detroit.

Today Thomas J. Curry,  of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (“OCC”) spoke at the 2016 National Interagency Community Reinvestment Conference in LA.

You can read Mr. Curry’s complete remarks here.

Mr. Curry acknowledged the many groups and organizations “working to build better communities and improve the financial lives of low- and moderate-income individuals

A question you may want to ask yourself – do you fall into that category? Are you working to build a better community?

Mr. Curry used Detroit as an example of how the OCC is attempting to work through barriers to stabilize low-income neighborhoods.

The OCC had conversations with stakeholders in Detroit that “spurred the OCC to explore how we could clarify existing guidance in an effort to address certain perceived lending barriers.”

Mr. Curry identified market conditions that have “combined to bring mortgage financing to a near halt in Detroit” including:

  • “The limited number of home sales there can make it difficult to find comparable sales needed for valuation of a property.
  • Additionally, area home values may be so low that the cost to purchase a property and make needed repairs often exceeds the post-renovation market value.”

In response, the OCC is putting together a bulletin that “will provide guidance for OCC-regulated institutions that want to set up mortgage programs so that potential homeowners may be able to secure purchase or purchase/rehabilitation loans in excess of the supervisory loan to value, or LTV, limits.”

Its good to know that the federal agency in charge of regulatory certain lenders is trying to find solutions.

Regardless, I think Mr. Curry makes a good observation:  “the best ideas for improving economic opportunities spring from ongoing dialogue among interested parties in the community.”

We all have different opinions as to what we believe the answers are to stabilizing a community like Detroit, or Grand Rapids, or anywhere.

The key is that we all need to be a part of the conversation.

Show up! 


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