Publication Date



In promoting well-being for women and female-headed households, social policy analysts are increasingly attending to wealth accumulation rather than focusing solely on income. Homeownership equity is a form of wealth that may be especially helpful for low-income women. This paper analyzes 1992 Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data for the city and county of St. Louis. Our primary hypothesis was that women, controlling for marital status, income, and race, would be more likely to be denied home loans. The findings from this data set contradict our hypothesis and suggest that men are slightly more likely than women to be denied mortgage loans. Discussion centers around reasons for this counter-intuitive finding and calls for more research on these matters.

Document Type

Working Paper


Financial Inclusion


Asset Building


Subsequent publication: Sanders, C. K., & Scanlon, E. (2000). Mortgage lending and gender. Affilia, 15(1), 9-30. doi:10.1177/08861090022093804

Original Citation

Sanders, C. K., Scanlon, E., & Emerson, S. (1997). Mortgage lending: Is gender a factor? (CSD Working Paper No. 97-4). St. Louis, MO: Washington University, Center for Social Development.


homeownership, gender