dcist: Voices of Wards 7 And 8: What Does Gentrification Mean For Neighborhoods East Of The River?

dcist, March 18 2021, Voices of Wards 7 and 8: What Does Gentrification Mean For Neighborhoods East Of The River?

From the 1950s through the late 1990s, D.C. was known as Chocolate City, because it was the first majority-Black major city in the United States. The city was home to prominent Black people who owned their own businesses. Influential Black leaders including Duke Ellington, Frederick Douglass, Mary McLeod Bethune, Chuck Brown, Marvin Gaye, Langston Hughes and Mary Church Terrell have all resided in the District.

Starting in the early 2000s gentrification crept through the cracks of the city. In 2019, a study from the National Community Reinvestment Coalition found that D.C. had the most gentrifying neighborhoods of any city in the country. (The District dropped to No. 13 on the list last year.) D.C. went from having over a population that was more than 70% Black in 1970, to roughly 46% as of 2019.

In Wards 7 and 8, gentrification is making its way east of the river. Barry Farms, a historic public housing development in Ward 8 that has been home to Black residents since the end of the Civil War, has been slated for redevelopment for years, but has been tied up in litigation over the residents that have been displaced.


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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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