Colorado Springs Indy: The Societal Impacts of Redlining Are Still Seen Today

Colorado Springs Indy, September 23, 2020: The Societal Impacts of Redlining Are Still Seen   

Redlining and racist housing policies still have an impact on society today, but mostly on people of color. Ninety percent of neighborhoods rated “best” or “desirable” are middle to upper class, and eighty-five of these areas are predominately White.

The legacy of racist housing policies continues to impact cities across the country, including Colorado Springs, and contributes to the ever-widening wealth gap between white and non-white families. According to a 2019 Census Bureau report, the median wealth of white households was $139,300 compared to $12,780 for Black households and $19,990 for Latino households. Owning a home heavily influences a family’s net worth — the report also found that across races, a homeowner’s median net worth is 80 times more than a renter’s.

Redlining has had a lasting impact on Colorado Springs neighborhoods and on the wealth of Black families. Today, historically redlined neighborhoods in the city continue to do worse economically and are currently more at risk for housing instability and homelessness due to the impacts of COVID-19 than predominantly white neighborhoods that were rated “better” in the 1930s. And Black people continue to fall behind other racial groups when it comes to homeownership. In the second quarter of 2020, 76 percent of homeowners nationwide were white, 51.4 percent were Latino and 47 percent were Black, according to the Census Bureau.


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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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