Department of Health NYC: The 90-year-old financial policy that harms our health

Department of Health NYC, The 90-year-old financial policy that harms our health

In New York City, many once-thriving neighborhoods experienced severe disinvestment as a result of redlining, which caused inequality that continued from one generation to the next. Neighborhoods that were redlined in the 1930s have higher rates of poverty even today – nearly 90 years after the maps were created. According to the National Community Reinvestment Coalition, 3 out of every 4 neighborhoods in the USA that were redlined in the 1930s are still low-to-moderate income today – and 2 out of every 3 are predominantly populated by people of color.

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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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