Building Generational Wealth in the Midst of Gentrification

The Washington Informer, October 13, 2021, Building Generational Wealth in the Midst of Gentrification

The nation’s capital is one of the most highly gentrified cities in the country according to a 2019 study by the National Community Reinvestment Coalition based on U.S. Census Bureau and economic data. This is particularly evident in Wards 7 and 8, where homeownership among Black residents has been declining at an alarming rate.  

This is owing largely to the proliferation of development projects targeting a younger, wealthier ‘Creative Class’ of millennials, ages 18-34. Certainly such initiatives have the effect of driving up housing values to a point where many would-be homebuyers are priced out of the market, but what about homes that have been Black-owned for decades? 

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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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