Agenda-setting research: Essential Reading for a #JustEconomy

Everyone made adjustments in their lives due to the coronavirus pandemic. So did NCRC’s research and publishing teams. Here are our top 10 reports, in no particular order, from 2020:

    1. Redlining and Neighborhood Health: Lower-income and minority neighborhoods that were intentionally cut off from lending and investment decades ago today suffer not only from reduced wealth and greater poverty, but from lower life expectancy and higher prevalence of chronic diseases that are risk factors for poor outcomes from COVID-19
    2. Lending Discrimination within the Paycheck Protection Program: Before COVID-19, tests revealed better treatment of White applicants for small business bank loans compared to Black ones. Matched-pair tests revealed similar disparities for PPP loan applicants.
    3. PPP Data Shows Loans Flowed Mostly to Businesses in Wealthy White Communities: The government’s flawed COVID relief program underscored the need for equity in small business financing, and for stronger enforcement of fair lending laws.
    4. Bank Branch Closures Continue At Alarming Pace: There was a 5.13% loss of bank branches across the United States from 2017 through the third quarter of 2020, a new analysis found.
    5. Racial and Ethnic Representation and Investment Framework: New benchmarks for racial and ethnic representation from NCRC and Beneficial State Foundation set goals and metrics for banks to evaluate their performance.
    6. Study: After The Coronavirus Shutdowns, Employment Levels Rebounded Completely For White Entrepreneurs In North Carolina, But Not For Black Ones: Although active employment rates in North Carolina’s small businesses dropped broadly during the first six months of the COVID-19 pandemic, by the end of August the rate had returned to pre-COVID levels for White entrepreneurs, but was still down by 62% for Black business owners.
    7. Study: Before COVID-19, A Small Number Of Booming Cities Struggled With Gentrification. The Rest Simply Struggled: San Francisco was the most intensely gentrified city in America from 2013 to 2017. It was followed by Denver, Boston, Miami and New Orleans. 
    8. Home Lending Data Reveals Discrepancies In Latino Mortgage Lending:  Closing costs and interest rates were substantially higher for Hispanic borrowers than for non-Hispanic White borrowers.
    9. Mortgage Data Reveals Disparities In Same-Sex Lending: Same-sex couples paid higher interest rates and closing fees on home loans.
    10. Mortgage Data Reveals Disparities In Asian American And Pacific Islander Lending: New research has revealed for the first time that some Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) mortgage borrowers are paying far more for their loans than others.

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Redlining and Neighborhood Health

Before the pandemic devastated minority communities, banks and government officials starved them of capital.

Lower-income and minority neighborhoods that were intentionally cut off from lending and investment decades ago today suffer not only from reduced wealth and greater poverty, but from lower life expectancy and higher prevalence of chronic diseases that are risk factors for poor outcomes from COVID-19, a new study shows.

The new study, from the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) with researchers from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health and the University of Richmond’s Digital Scholarship Lab, compared 1930’s maps of government-sanctioned lending discrimination zones with current census and public health data.

Table of Content

  • Executive Summary
  • Introduction
  • Redlining, the HOLC Maps and Segregation
  • Segregation, Public Health and COVID-19
  • Methods
  • Results
  • Discussion
  • Conclusion and Policy Recommendations
  • Citations
  • Appendix

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