Bloomberg: How Unfair Property Taxes Keep Black Families From Gaining Wealth

Bloomberg, March 9, 2021, How Unfair Property Taxes Keep Black Families From Gaining Wealth

Despite its flaws, Di Leshea Scott clings to her little two-story Tudor on Lawrence Street with a devotion that’s hard to fathom, until you know the house’s ownership history. She’s renting a home she used to own. Wayne County took it away from her in 2013, after she fell three years behind on her property tax payments. Her house, which she’d bought in 2005 for $63,800, was auctioned off by the county and snapped up by an investment company for less than $5,000. Scott lost every cent she’d put into it.

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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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