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Financial Access Initiative research on the unbanked cited in House testimony

Financial Access Initiative research on the unbanked cited in House testimony

The Financial Access Initiative, a research consortium of leading development economists that is focused on substantially expanding access to financial services for low-income individuals worldwiide, was cited by U.S. Rep. Dan Maffei (D-NY) at a hearing on the future of the microfinance poverty-fighting strategy on Jan. 27 conducted by the House Subcommittee on Domestic and International Monetary Policy, Trade, and Technology.  Among other facts, Rep. Maffei noted FAI's finding that 2.5 billion people currently have no savings or credit account with a tradition or alternative financial institution (see study "Half the World is Unbanked, Oct., 2009) The congressman's videotaped remarks begin at minute 19:28 here.

Additionally, FAI research was cited at the hearing in testimony by Susy Cheston of Opportunity International (see P. 6).

The Financial Access Initiative is housed at the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. Its managing director and lead researcher is Jonathan Morduch, professor of public policy and economics at NYU Wagner.

Ford Foundation Announces 2003 Winners of Leadership for a Changing World Awards

Ford Foundation Announces 2003 Winners of Leadership for a Changing World Awards

The Ford Foundation has announced the 2003 winners of the Leadership for a Changing World awards. The 17 awardees, selected from a pool of more than 1,300 nominations, represent individuals and leadership teams that are tackling some of the nation�s most entrenched social problems. Launched in September 2000, Leadership for a Changing World is a program of the Ford Foundation in partnership with the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at New York University and the Advocacy Institute in Washington, D.C.

Furman Center Presents New Data on NYC Mortgage Lending

Furman Center Presents New Data on NYC Mortgage Lending

State of New York City’s Housing and Neighborhoods 2009

The Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy, a joint research center between NYU Wagner and NYU Law, recently released its fourth annual analysis of FFIEC’s Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data, called Mortgage Lending in the Great Recession: HMDA 2009.

The analysis reflects several surprises in a tumultuous year. While home purchase mortgage lending declined throughout the recession, the study found that lending to low and moderate income home buyers increased in 2009, as did the number of new mortgages backed by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and Veteran’s Administration (VA). In 2009, 16 percent of New York City home purchase mortgages were FHA/VA-backed loans, compared to less than one percent of loans issued from 2005 to 2007.

The study also found, in contrast to home purchase lending, that mortgage refinancing increased substantially in 2009. The increase in refinancing activity, however, was not uniform across New York City’s different racial and ethnic communities. Black and Hispanic homeowners did not refinance at the same rates as white and Asian borrowers, which suggests that not all New York homeowners were equally able to take advantage of lower interest rates and reduce their monthly payments.

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