Think tank pushes for transparency on multifamily lending data

by Candyd Mendoza30 Apr 2019

The Urban Institute has called for more transparency in the reporting of Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on multifamily lending.

The Washington-based think tank said the vague reporting of Home Mortgage Disclosures Act (HDMA) data hinders analysts from evaluating and understanding a lender’s impact on the community.

In 2018, the HDMA required multifamily lenders to report data to regulators on the number of units in a property, like the number of rent-restricted units.

However, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau does not disclose all of this data to the public.

This lack of transparency makes it difficult to determine what can be done to aid community reinvestment in the most underserved areas without an overview of how lenders contribute to giving opportunities to borrowers with low to moderate incomes.

“Making bank activities more transparent without imposing incremental regulatory burden isn’t easy, but publicly disseminating the new HMDA multifamily data would do just that,” the think tank wrote. “Why not use this information fully to promote transparency on multifamily [Community Reinvestment Act] activity?”