Battle against banking deserts in Baltimore

Baltimore Brew, October 23, 2017: One branch’s closure sparks a battle against “banking deserts” in Baltimore

“Bank branches are there to manage a community’s wealth as well as to reward the bank’s shareholders,” said John Taylor, president and CEO of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition.

“Yet those branches are often closed in order to create more profitability for the bank, even when those branches are viable, without consideration of what happens to people and businesses in those communities,” he said.

Taylor’s remarks came with the NCRC’s release earlier this year of a report that showed inner city and rural communities bore the brunt of the closures.

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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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