Summer 2014

The Continuing Importance of Homeownership: Evidence from the Community Advantage Program


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.

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