CityLab: Why are these tiny towns getting so much Hurricane Harvey aid

CityLab, October 3,2018: Why are these tiny towns getting so much Hurricane Harvey aid

Taylor Landing is a string of tidy taupe ranch homes bordered by the Taylor Bayou and Texas State Highway 73. It’s barely a dot on the map in Southeast Texas. With just 228 residents, it’s one of the smaller towns that was hit by flooding when Hurricane Harvey dropped torrential sheets of rain last year. And, with a median household income of about $69,000 and a poverty rate of 0 percent, it’s also among the wealthier ones.

It’s whiter, too: According to the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey in 2016, none of Taylor Landing’s residents is African American.

For the purposes of divvying up Hurricane Harvey recovery funds, officials from the region estimated that the storm affected 22 residents of Taylor Landing—about 1 in 10. The town stands to receive $1.3 million in funds designated to help residents relocate from homes destroyed by Harvey. That works out to about $60,000 per affected resident.

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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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