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*Originally printed in Free Inquiry in Creative Sociology 2001 29(2).
Studies that utilize Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) data reveal more
problems than they resolve. HMDA data include limited variables used by
lenders. Even when supplemented with additional information, researchers
question their results by hypothesizing additional variables that might account
for race. Criteria of adequacy for utilizing HMDA data are proposed that are
adequate to the planning task of identifying the effects of impediments to fair housing. While HMDA data provide questionable evidence for discrimination, they provide adequate evidence to determine if a minority population experiences impediments to fair housing. A methodology is derived from a literature review.