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American Banker: Waters’ proposed legislation would benefit underbanked communities

American Banker, Waters’ proposed legislation would benefit underbanked communities

A recent report from the National Community Reinvestment Coalition found that while families and Main Street small businesses were desperate for financial support and counsel, America’s banks took advantage of the crisis to accelerate the pace of their already planned branch closures, escalating the formation rate of banking deserts. Since March 2020, banks have closed more than 4,000 branches across the country. At 201 closures per month, they doubled their closure rate, which — for the past 10 years — averaged around 99 per month. The NCRC also says that over the past five years, one-third of these closures were concentrated in low- to middle-income and minority neighborhoods.

 

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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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