Powered by Wells Fargo

See How it Works

"Underwriting for Good is an innovative, automated underwriting system," says Center for NYC Neighborhoods CFO Natasha Pallan. "It can assist banks in reducing the cost and speeding the process of underwriting loans to families in the low- to middle-income bracket. And a key part of that is Black and Brown families."

Innovation Milestones

Center for NYC Neighborhoods completed work on its Underwriting for Good innovation in December 2022, providing a tool for users to take a second look at denied mortgages. The team is using two computer programs to put Underwriting for Good into practice – Meridian Link to reissue credit reports and Form Free, which allows them to gather rental payments.

Underwriting for Good has been demoed and discussed with key partners, including the State of NY Mortgaging Agency (SONYMA), Fannie Mae, the Urban Institute, and HUD. Together, they have examined the challenges of using alternative credit data and the best approaches to incorporating that data into Underwriting for Good toward closing the racial wealth gap and increasing homeownership rates among people of color and people with modest means.

The Center’s key partners on Underwriting for Good included Decision Science Analytics and Mountain View Advisors.

A woman and man sitting at a table talking as the woman smiles and gestures with her hands
Underwriting for Good aims to close the country’s racial homeownership gap by changing the way lenders see Black and Brown borrowers and by ensuring fast access to fair and affordable mortgage terms.
Christie Peale, Center for NYC Neighborhoods

What’s Next

Center for NYC Neighborhoods is currently creating a new product specifically designed for housing counselors that will draw lessons learned from the development of Underwriting for Good. One of its important features will be a new code base, allowing the system to process underwriting information more efficiently.

The future innovation will also feature mortgage loan products that SONYMA and Fannie Mae would like to keep top-of-mind when looking at mortgage options for people who have been historically excluded from homeownership opportunities.