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Developing radical goals for Black homeownership and access to affordable housing

Over the last 50 years, there has been little bridging of the Black/White homeownership divide. During this time of higher interest rates and a higher cost of housing, what can be done to significantly advance Black homeownership and access to affordable housing? We heard from a panel of experts on the type of radical changes needed and practical ways to move us in that direction.

Moderator:

Miriam Axel-Lute, CEO/Editor-in-Chief, Shelterforce

Speakers:

Dedrick Asante-Muhammad, Chief, Membership, Policy and Equity, NCRC

Cornell Crews Jr., Executive Director, Community Reinvestment Alliance of Florida

Andreanecia Morris, Executive Director, HousingNOLA

Chantelle Wilkinson, National Campaign Manager, National Low Income Housing Coalition

Transcript:

NCRC video transcripts are produced by a third-party transcription service and may contain errors. They are lightly edited for style and clarity.

Axel-Lute 00:00

Welcome everyone. We’re gonna get started right on time because we have such a dynamic panel and they have so much to say. So, a lot of launch and welcome to radical goals for Black homeownership and access to housing. This is going to be an amazing panel, we’re going to start off with having everybody introduce themselves and tell you just a little bit about how their work intersects with the topics of the day. And I will go first, your moderator today, Miriam Axel-Lute. I’m the CEO and editor in chief at shelter force magazine. We’re a national magazine that covers housing, justice, and community development for all of you and other folks who work anywhere in the intersections with those topics. And of course, if you’re talking about housing in this country, you have to talk about race. If you’re talking about anything in this country early you have to talk about race and racial justice. So that is certainly something that we do. We recently published a six week series on the racial wealth gap and systemic solutions to it about half of which was focused on homeownership topics. So I am honored and excited to be assisting with this panel today because we are going to go beyond the traditional angles to these topics. So I’m going to turn it over now to Cornell to introduce himself.

Crews 01:31

Oh, good morning, everyone. My name is Cornell Crews Jr. I’m the Executive Director of the Community Reinvestment alliance of Florida. We ensure that the financial institutions reinvest in the low to moderate income communities. We also establish partnerships and collaborations with nonprofits, corporations, for Park profile for profit organizations, and government. And we also train them on the Community Reinvestment Act and how to best employed we use this to be at have a wide variety of things to include transportation, housing, rental assistance, climate gentrification, and in the community quality and racial inequality. So our organization has been around for about six years, a founder sitting right back there are the shank. So we are a partner with the National Organization NCRC had been a part of quite a few community benefits agreements concerning the financial institutions. Thank you.

Axel-Lute 02:29

We’ll head right down the line. All right.

Morris 02:30

Good morning, everyone. I’m Andreanecia Morris, Executive Director of Housing Nola. I also lead what we call the housing triad of organizations in Louisiana, and we are organized around a very simple concept put Housing First, in order to guarantee housing for all. We believe that as Miriam said, housing is the last on address a civil rights issue, and that it is centered around frankly, hatred of Black women. That is at the root of our housing crisis as our refusal to acknowledge the racial inequities inherent in our in our housing system. And we believe by addressing the needs of the most vulnerable Black women and their children. That is first and foremost is how we guarantee housing for all and put Housing First. And that includes creating homeownership opportunities for Black women and their children so that they can build wealth and build wealth in an equitable and sensible manner.

Wilkinson 03:29

Hi, my name is Chantelle Wilkinson, I work at the National Low Income Housing Coalition on a campaign called opportunity starts at home. That campaign is really about bringing together multi sector organizations to advocate for federal housing policy, affordable federal housing policy. So we’re basically the foundation of the fundamental idea that we tackle is that if you’re an educator, if you’re a doctor, if you are someone who works in civil rights and activist environmental anyway, that housing is at the foundation of that, that those goals and priorities cannot be achieved without affordable housing and access to housing. And so we bring together organizations that come on board, and they come on board to advocate for housing policy. And we do that through several ways. So we have national organizations that are involved with the campaign, as well as state organizations that are involved with the campaign all built around this multi sector approach. It really is about seeing people in a holistic manner, you know, talking about these systems, and seeing people as individuals, which these issues intersect. And so as we’ll have this conversation today, you’ll hear a lot about those spillover impacts of housing and why these voices have come together through the campaign and analyzed See, in a broader sense, we advocate for those at the lowest income spectrum for access to affordable housing. I’m glad to be here.

Asante-Muhammad 04:56

And I am Dedrick Asante-Muhammad, Chief of membership policy and equity at NCRC have been focused in the racial wealth divide space for about the last 20 years and being focused in that issues of homeownership has always come up and is central to that worked with NCRC to produce a paper called 60% of Black homeownership a radical goal with a focus on trying to highlight I mean, I don’t think people understand there is inequality in homeownership. I don’t think people understand the radical action necessary. I’m not saying radical just because yeah, like radical ism, but because we need something I do, you know, yeah, like I do like radical ism. But it’s not because of that. It’s because we really need radical change, if we’re going to move the divide of homeownership, which really hasn’t bridged over the last 5060 years. Also, just want to note, we have Sally and Monica passing out this book from here to equality, reparations for Black Americans in the 21st century by William Daredi. One of the more important books recently focused on African Americans, obviously, if you don’t want it, you don’t have to take it, but there’ll be passing it around. And Sally, do we have a few more up upstairs to or just you just have what you have there? Okay, all right. And, yeah, so hopefully, you will get the book which he will be, there’ll be passing it around. So thanks, everyone, for coming out.

Axel-Lute 06:20

Great. So we’re gonna start off the housing market has been on everybody’s lips recently with even more increases in costs, and then shifts in interest rates and things. So we’re gonna start off by addressing a little bit of how is the housing market affecting Black homeownership and access to affordable housing restart down there with Dedrick, then Chantelle, Cornell and Andreanecia?

Asante-Muhammad 06:48

Yes, um, so you know, how is the housing market? You know, and I think, again, you know, I started off noting that there really hasn’t been a bridging and Black/White homeownership inequality for the last 50-60 years. So, you know, I think oftentimes people take the current crisis, and say, This is really having a dramatic effect on lack of Black homeownership, or lack of affordable housing. I think the more important story is that we’ve had a radical divide for 60 years during generally good economic times bad economic times pre COVID, post COVID. So it’s not just about getting past the immediate crisis and or the immediate moment, and I think there is a lot to be nervous about. And the immediate moment right there, I’ve been saying, you know, I don’t think the COVID recession, for regular people is really, really going to hit until I would say, to 2020 to 2023, because the government did do a lot, and getting money out to regular people did do a lot on preventing foreclosures. And it was clear to me that once those measures are removed, that’s when regular people are going to be feeling the results of COVID financially, and actually, we’re still seeing even health wise. And so I do think, you know, again, we should look at the concerns around inflation of homeownership rising interest rates, apartment prices going up. You know, in general, that’s going to make a hard situation harder, but I think we really have to look at it’s a long term problem. It’s not a problem of immediate a bailout around current inflation is not going to do something significant in bridging Black/White homeownership. There’s something fundamental, there’s not something many things fundamental, that needs to be changed if we want to go on the path of homeownership equality, equity.

Wilkinson 08:37

Thank you. And I will, you know, just bridging off of that, looking at the broader view and the national context of what it means to be a what we call a housing crisis. So as I mentioned, on the campaign, we first we focus on housing and a spillover impacts to other sectors, meaning that housing affordability is central to health care, education, economic growth, food security, civil rights, and so much more. And so even with that, we’ve seen that the housing crisis has reached historic heights, and it negatively impacts the lowest income renter federal assistance is chronically underfunded and has been for decades, the nation has 11 million extremely low income renters facing a housing shortage of approximately 7 million homes that are affordable and available to them. Extremely low income renters are the most in need for affordable housing, and yet they have the least amount of units available to them. Across the nation. There’s only 36 affordable and available homes for every 100 extremely low income renter household. And as a result of this shortage, many households are cost burdened. And when we say cost burden, that means that they’re spending more more than 30% of their income on rent. So this directly contributes to a household and need to you know, bridge that gap between rents and the other necessities that they may need like Healthcare or food, it also makes it really difficult for households to accumulate emergency savings. So they’re not equipped to handle something like a medical bill or a broken down car expense. And so in this way, the shortage of affordable housing and resulting cost burdens contributes directly to housing instability and homelessness. Of the 11 million extremely low income renter households in the United States. 71% are severely cost burdened. So that means they’re spending more than 50% of their income on housing. And so when we say this, I think there’s also been a misconception of what these households look like that we’re talking about, because there’s a lot of stereotypes of what that could mean. And really, what we’re talking about here is this group is comprised comprised of seniors, people with disabilities, those that are in the labor force, taking up a huge amount of that, as well as people who are enrolled in school people who are single adults caring for young children, and people with disabilities as well. So this is a group that we’re really talking about that are severely cost burdened, spending more than 50% of their income on housing, housing is simply unaffordable, we can see this by looking at wages, wages have been stagnant for decades, and the house, the cost of housing just keeps on increasing. Last year, the housing wage was $24.90. So what that means is that a full time worker must earn $24.90 an hour to afford a two bedroom apartment. And this means that for a one bedroom apartment of a full time worker must earn $20.40. And we know that the federal minimum wage is still $7.25. So that’s more than double of that minimum wage that we see. And so households that really need the assistance, we also noticed that they’re they’re not getting it, one in four eligible households that need federal assistance actually get the assistance that they need. And we also get some feedback around how this is like an urban issue. And it’s really not we see it in suburban and rural areas all over the nation. In fact, only 7% of us County, and there’s 3000 counties across the US, where a full time minimum wage worker can afford a one bedroom rental home at fair market rent. And so as we are talking about here today, Black people, they feel this most acutely, because of racism past and present, Black households are more likely to be extremely low income renters severely cost burden and face a disproportionate risk, disproportionate risk of eviction. And so just talking about the crisis, in a broad sense, we really are experiencing a crisis. And we have been for decades, and the federal government definitely has a important role to play in funding programs that will address these issues. And it severely impacts as my panelists here to have been saying, that gap that we’re talking about today. So just defining the problem in a general sense, as you guys have heard, it’s really been a crisis that we’ve been addressing for decades and decades.

Crews 13:12

So I agree with everything that’s been said. And one of my pet peeves is, and I will say it until the cows come home is corporate, corporate corporations and hedge funders purchasing homes. In our state in the state of Florida, it has been such a huge deal with 60 minutes xe did a piece on it a few months ago. In it one of the one of the one of the hedge funds that was purchasing homes actually said that Americans want to rent the American dream, they no longer want to buy the American dream. And to be honest with you, I would love to jump through the TV and just grabbed about I know that I’m on I don’t approve of violence, but every now and then some people need an answer on what it for instance, in our state and in South Florida, Miami Dade, Broward County, which is Fort Lauderdale, and Palm Beach County, which is Palm Beach in November, one has fun to purchase 1800 single family homes 1800 Gonna turn them into forever rentals. And never give low to moderate income and middle income an opportunity at the American dream. And as all of you will know, land. Therefore a home has been the American way since the Pilgrims came. Thus that’s why they took it from the Indians, right? But land represent land and a home is the first stage towards generational wealth and or leaving any type of generational wealth and as is well known has been said in this country on many, many occasions when White people catch a cold, African Americans ketchup full blown pneumonia so with corporations by doing the buying of these of these homes and pricing us out of the out of the opportunity to own, they’re not only impacting our our wealth, but also impacting generational wealth as you want to pass it down to, to your, to your siblings or correction to your, to your family members. So I think that that’s been one of the biggest burdens so far. Besides all the things that have been mentioned. Now, we have to deal with this in the 21st century of this corporate buying of homes. And that’s sure, that’s shutting out, in particular, African Americans who want to purchase a home. There’s gotta be there’s ways we can get we can get around it, but that’s going to take some political will. And sometimes that’s very, very tough. Hopefully, hopefully, I’ve seen some things, folks from Dallas, I know. And Dallas City Council has looked at ways to mitigate purchasing and mass like this and or city of Orlando, Florida has tried to do it as well. But it’s going to be one of those things that are going to that’s that’s keeping homeownership down and making it even more more of a cost burden and making it very, very difficult for those of us who want to purchase a home to be able to actually purchase that home. And unless we do something about it in a hurry, we’re going to be in and being even more cash strapped and will back us up per Dedrick’s study in the NCRC study that he did, that’s going to back us up even more and widen that Black/White homeownership gap.

Morris 16:42

So I want to take a minute to kind of flip this question over, because I kind of reject the premise of it inherently, that the notion that somehow the affordable housing market is different from the rest of the housing market. That is a huge problem that we have in this country that somehow was happening and housing prices are skyrocketing. How does it affect affordable housing, when that problem is inherent to the market? It is it’s not a feature. It’s a feature, not a bug. This is how we think it’s supposed to work. And when we talk about building generational wealth, we start with when we when we don’t move refuse to acknowledge what’s going on with renters. When we refuse to acknowledge I’m going to talk about what’s happening with homeownership and how people are caught losing it. When we refuse to talk about race. When it comes to housing, we gloss over the hard parts and kind of settle for the stereotypes does not tell us point. So one of the things that and the reason that we’re having these, this hot conversation right now is because of inflation, right? People are concerned about how much gas a gallon of gas costs. People are concerned about how much it costs, where to buy for to build housing, when, again, any economists in the room want to explain to folks how housing prices drive inflation, not the other way around. Right? That is and that stuff we used to know in this country, that stuff that we used to understand, we keep looking away from our failure to guarantee housing for everyone. We continue to let housing not just be commodified in this incredibly extractive way. But also it’s it is it’s a it’s a signature of status. It is an end, we don’t want to share that somehow, if we do a low to moderate income person, home that a home that nourishes them that lets them thrive. And if you are wealthy or upper middle class and you’re paying for something nicer, it is somehow worth less, because someone else has the base minimum. And then we allow when we talk about homeownership, we continue to allow this notion to be to be perpetrated, that somehow all we need to do is make sure Black people get a chance to buy a house. And we don’t think about how it’s going to be passed on his generational wealth to Cornell’s point. We don’t look at investing in preserving homeownership opportunities. And we also ignore the elephant in the room. We’re talking about building wealth and generational wealth. How it becomes generational. Well, what are you going to do with it when you inherit grandma’s house? Are you going to sell it? Because there’s that well? Or are you going to rent it out? So when you stand up and say when your elected officials stand up and say, Well, I don’t want to talk about rentals because I want to talk about homeownership. You should push back on them and say we can’t have first-time homeownership until we have stable successful renters. We can’t have generational wealth without renting to other people. So you are if we do not flip this on its head. And really think about this in a more holistic fashion, we’re not going to get anywhere, if we continue to see this as a this, this zero sum game, if we continue to say the only way we can build wealth, successfully, reasonably is to deny opportunities to other people, particularly, and I have a real problem with that, because if people were picking on Black women, we’ve decided, that is Black women who have to be kept out of housing opportunity. So I have a real problem with this, for obvious reasons, you all should have a real problem with you to not and not just the other Black women in this audience, because if you were gonna deny it for me and other Black women, it can be and it is being denied to the rest of you. For other reasons, you may be LGBTQ plus, you may be you may be poor, you may not be as educated there’s, or you may be the victim of COVID. You could be a Black man, there are other reasons that are given to deny you this opportunity. And so we have to flip this on its head and really look at the housing market. And when we talk about being radical, the radical solutions are ones that start with everyone having these opportunities. That’s radical.

Asante-Muhammad 21:25

One point that was put forward about bringing clarity about the market and affordable housing, right, because the market by itself has never brought about affordable housing, right, like Whites can become majority homeowners by just a strong market. Right. It was a massive government programs, why so many come as homeowners by just the market. It’s by conquering land and then redistributing it right? So there is this, I think it’s really important you highlight that idea that this idea of the housing market is going good. But that was little nothing little to do with what our people and you know, doing well in terms of homeownership in terms of affordable rental. So just wanted to build off of what you said.

Axel-Lute 22:06

Thank you, Dedrick. Amen. So, underneath, you just mentioned holistic solutions. And so we’re going to move into talking about one of the other big context that is affecting housing right now. And that’s climate change. And I’ll start on this and this time with Cornell and head that way.

Crews 22:26

Thank you, Miriam, so climate change is a big deal. In Florida in particular, Miami is, is ground zero for sea level rise in the world. If you stand in downtown Miami, you’re never ever, ever above for four feet more than four feet above sea level ever. We have a thing there called Climate gentrification, where our highest points in the county run right down through or even through the lower three counties, Dade, Bernard Palm Beach County, the rich runs right through low- to moderate-income communities. So the developers are finally realizing that. So the developers are now going in and purchasing properties in those in those high rise areas, or high higher ground areas. And as I stated, most of those folks are LMI eyes. So now what they’re doing is they’re actually going in and offering those folks literally nothing for their homes. One, one area in particular, which is just north of downtown called Little Haiti, Little Haiti, as you might might might ascertain, is mostly Haitian immigrants. So they may not be aware of the ways of our country just yet. So they purchased their home and developers are going in and giving them little and nothing for their homes, and they actually believe that they can actually go out and purchase another home. Not so in South Florida. Rents rents alone in my in January, February, and February went up 55%. Just in those two months, the average medium home that that in the last 21 months went from $365,000 to $585,000. So they can’t afford to purchase a new home. And that’s in that climate, that climate gentrification as the water rises, and we’re not doing anything about it really, as the water rises, it’s moving those folks out. Excuse me. So another thing that’s that climate has, has played a part in is that we it’s gotten so bad in our county that you can actually go to our Miami Dade County map put in your address, and it’ll tell you whether your your area is going to be flooded in the next 25 years, whether it’s going to be underwater, right. But in those same areas, developers are still throwing up million dollar condos left and right because they’re gonna get their money in there and they’re gone. So they don’t have to deal with it. So as as, as people the more people who moves our state and more people who move to market trickler area as they realize that developers are reading, developers are moving slowly, further and further west. And by moving west, they’re getting the high ground. Now in Florida, particularly South Florida, if you if you know, we have, we have nowhere to go, you have the Atlantic Ocean on one side, the Everglades on the other. So there’s really nowhere to go, but either up or out. So as it as it affects our climate change and the rising water, this affect our real estate, it also affects the low to moderate income folks. And we have constantly working to try to mitigate that, and advocating for climate gentrification changes, and the application of developers not taking over our low to moderate income areas. If you live in Florida, or you’ve read everything about anything about Florida, we’re known for three things. We know for hurricanes, we’re known for alligators. And we’re home for we’re known for developers taking over a state and they nothing, nothing is built, nothing is done in our state without developers. When you come to South Florida, I can take you around South Florida and there’d be very few places to have a blade of grass that’s not built on very few. And that’s getting that’s that’s if it does, if it does, if it is a blade of grass, without without without something built on it and he’s on park or something is really really radical wrong with that particular that particular piece of real estate. So it’s it’s it’s becoming a, a huge problem with climate change how we’re going to mitigate it. We’ve been talking about it for the last 15 years, to include building a wall to try to help the try to mitigate the waters or trying to take New Orleans taken build dikes, but at the same time, oh, we’re gonna ruin the scenery. You know, everybody wants to be able to see the water. Yeah, but I think I want to be able to survive to see the water first.

I gotta live with it, I got to live with it, it affects it affects the low- and moderate-income, it comes so much because where they’re gonna go, I’ll give you a perfect example that also goes with climate change and prices. And Key West, the folks who lived in Key West, could not live could no longer afford to live there. And the word is rising. So those folks who live the Key West move to homestead, which is on the mainland, right? That’s a two and a half hour drive from homestead the Key West one way every day. And there’s only if you ever been to Key West before ever drove it, there’s only one way in and one way out. So there’s an there’s an accident on us. One, you’re stuck for the next four to six hours just sitting there. So we have to we have to find ways and encourage government in order to mitigate the mitigate our, our, our, our flooding issue. And to stop the developers from coming in and purchasing those homes. We got a lot we got a lot to do and a lot of work to do. But hopefully we can make it happen over the next few years.

Morris 28:03

So one of the things that when we talk about climate change to Cornell’s point is, again, making sure that people can stay in their homes in the long run, right, especially when you’re talking about building wealth and radically building wealth. One of the frustrations that we have and I work in Louisiana is our failure to address climate change in a way that is thoughtful and responsive and immediate. One of the things that we can do immediately like right there’s a lot of anxiety and rightfully so about the climate crisis, right? We’ve got in Louisiana is round zero for not only like Miami, like Florida, we are dealing with the consequences of it. We climate intensified storms, not just hurricanes, but actually polar vortexes. Louisiana has been the Gulf really has been a siege we’ve been besieged in the last 20 years by climate intensified events. And so yes, we have tried to make investments we’ve tried to secure funding to make our community safer, but we are not investing in our people in in their in their homes. We are instead allowing them to be resilient and marveling at their resiliency as they get up after getting hit time and time and time again. And so and we’re in a lot of our a lot of the National Climate Change, change work ignores communities like the Deep South and you kind of write this off. As you know, we’re too stupid to understand what we need to do. When people are dealing with immediate issues that are also connected to climate change, not just hurricanes, but energy and efficiencies. Louisiana has the distinction of having the third highest energy cost burden in the country with 622,000 residents, energy costs burden 622,000 households, renters and homeowners being energy cost burdened. And so when we talk about immediate aid Choose, we could make those homes net zero, that can be a generational investment that would do several things. It would reduce residential emissions, which, in Louisiana about 30% of our emissions. That’s not everything. That’s something though, that we could do today. That’s something we could start today, that work is the work that would be great, great jobs and opportunities, it would also make these homes because once you make the net zero, you make them energy efficient, you make them more affordable, you also make them healthier, which is a big problem. We have, to Chantelle’s point, not just in urban cities, not just in you know New Orleans, and Shreveport and Baton Rouge, but in bunkie. And in, you know, Madisonville and all of these other small places all over Louisiana who think that affordable housing is a Black problem when it’s not. And it’s something that again, we’re missing out on. It is a it is a perfect intersection. It’s something that we could do immediately and solve a lot of problems. And it’s not something that we talk about you talk to the average climate justice warrior, not in Louisiana, they are not focused on on housing, they’re not focused on rebuilding community. They are it’s much more existential, it’s much more focused on polluters. And again, that is not to say that those things can and shouldn’t be addressed. But those interventions are going to take time. Those interventions are going to take political will. And if you invest in the people, guess what, you also get some help with political will. Because when your municipality balks at modernizing their, their, their their buildings, when their employers balk at reducing their carbon emissions, and decarbonizing and reducing their footprint, those homeowners and those renters can say, Well, they did it to my house a couple of years ago, and it’s great. Why wouldn’t you want this for your business? Why wouldn’t you want this for your community? Why wouldn’t you want this for your municipality? We have to start investing in people in ways and how in a ways that that gets us to these other issues. And and housing is key to that. Yeah, housing is at the root. You can’t you can’t name an inch and a social issue that is plaguing us where I can Chantelle can Cornell can Dedrick can Miriam can show you how the failure to address housing is impeding that issue. And most people don’t think about it in that way. And climate change is an is another one of those we could do this immediately. Why aren’t we? Why are we even talking about it?

Wilkinson 32:49

Thank you, thank you. Now I’m gonna double down. Environment housing are inextricably linked. So for us, it’s very important that those who advocate for environment also advocate for affordable housing. Many of the links are clear, like transportation admissions, if housing is expensive, near your job, or by transportation, you move further out, when you move further out to get and you’re clogging roads, there’s emissions or gas to greenhouse gas emissions, there’s free and open spaces now unlimited and unavailable. And so as this conference tastes as the conversation around climate change, just continues and it continues to evolve, we know that the livelihood of billions of people will change. And we need to make sure that we’re aiding in that change so that they can withstand it as well. And we’ve seen it and witnessed it through the pandemic. And so to address these issues, it really means that we need a framework that really also addresses the racial equity that’s needed in law, these policies, and it’s been failing us. So this still impacts the policies that we have today, that we need to address the issues that we have around environment as well as housing. And if we want to see the radical change that we keep talking about, we need to address affordable housing as well. And so it’s, it’s necessary for us, we really do Lean on our partners at the Natural Resources Defense Council to really advocate around climate change and affordable housing. So I’ll just kind of just mentioned something before I move on as something that one of our long standing partners said recently, and so a lot of what we influence, how to get people into affordable housing. This determines the amount of emissions that comes through homes. We’re slowly learning that we have to think about climate change is not merely the science of emissions or modernizing the grid or infrastructure is also this core social policy about how people can afford to live in a safe, affordable, healthy home that is energy efficient and includes other green amenities. The Natural Resource Defense Council has come a very long way and thinking of itself as a holistic human institution. And we’re hearing this not only from environment but also in health care, you know, it’s really the This view of looking at people and the issues that we have in a very holistic way. And it starts with housing housing is so foundational to so many issues that we talk about, again, doubling down on what the other panelists have said, you just see how where you live really impacts your everything around you, your health care, where you get food, what medicine is available, what health care is available and close to you. And it definitely has an impact in environment. We’ve seen it time and time again, you know, unfortunately, we’ve seen it in events that cost lives. And it’s really sad that we’re still in a place where we’re having to advocate for these issues. But as we say, in the campaign, if you’re, you’re advocating for the environment, you also need to be advocating for affordable housing as well.

Asante-Muhammad 35:46

And I just want to add a little story, because, you know, I think oftentimes people think if they think about climate change, they think about New Orleans, they think about Florida, but just want to highlight, I live in a suburb, closer to Baltimore. And we’ve had in a place called Ellicott City, we’ve had 2 once in 100 year floods in the last 10 years. And like as a kid, there used to be flooding that would meant like there’d be water going over your foot over your shoes. This was water that was pushing over cars, like we lost the thing. One person died, the first one and then about four people got swept away, but I just raging waters coming down. And we’re still doing studies on this mountain. It was a coincidence that they created develop, like Old Ellicott City was down at the bottom of an area. And there used to be kind of hills with trees, what have you. And we there’s questions about 20 years ago, they developed the you know the hilltop, right, and so now you have this pavement, you don’t have the grass pulling in the water, you have it going straight down. And so it’s just, you know, every decision we make about development, about development needs to have a climate justice factor. And to just want to get into this affordable housing thing, I went to a celebration around some affordable housing development. And I found out midway, that the starting price was over $600,000. And I was the first I was able to look at this beautiful stuff. And when people moved in, and then they were like at the starting price is six, you know, and maybe it’s cheaper than the thing down the block. But like you have to be real about what is affordable for who, right and like. And so you have to be very focused on that. And it should be considered like there’s a regulation about having affordable housing. In my mind, there should be more regulation about you have to get a special permit to create unaffordable housing. And that’s where we need to be need a special permit for anything of you know, above whatever your local area is 1000 points out whatever your local area is right, and especially permit for things that are going to have a negative impact on climate justice, because that’s, that’s where we are right? Like, it’s not like, oh, this might get bad. It’s bad. Like the climate justice. It’s bad that African Americans have a 43% homeownership rate. Whites have a 73% homeownership rate about and our radical goal is 60% Black homeownership still isn’t equality. I just felt like asking for a 50% increase in Black homeownership for every 20 years seemed pretty radical. I was scared to ask for more. So I wasn’t even trying to get to equalled Whites. I was just like, can we just get strong majority Black homeownership, right? So again, he’s really need to look at the real problems. What what are the real solutions? Maybe it’s not the political will. But I find if we only allow the narrative to be driven by what is considered the political will, we won’t even identify what the real problem is.

Crews 38:37

So can I add one more thing about climate change and climate gentrification because there we we put the two together. And and something Andreanecia addressed about how to help change policy or at least force policy. So NCRC is all about the Community Reinvestment Act and banks reinvesting in the community. So let’s pick on them. And I say that because I think about all the things that we could do with policy and how policy could be driven and how we can initiate policy if we have some more help from the financial institutions. And here’s here’s I’m gonna use a perfect example, in in our area our financial district is called is called the Brickell area. In Brickell, all of all the banks all the financial institutions have have a have their, their their corporate offices and things of that nature there. Here’s the kicker about Brickell, Brooklyn floods constantly, constantly, we have something we call Moon tides, which means that when the moon is close to the Earth, our tides go up Brickell area, the tides go up to about your knees or higher, and that’s when it’s 80 degrees and sunny outside. And this happens to us anywhere from four to six times a year. So I was I one of one of our one of the banks actually opened finally opened an office in Miami Dade County and they opened it there downtown and Brickell. So I was talking to the bank president and I said, you do know you’re in a flood area, right? He said what I said, you’re in a flood area, there’s going to be at least four to six times a year that you’re not going to be at your folks are not going to be able to get to work because it’s underwater. And he’s, I didn’t know that. Okay, cool. You didn’t know that. But you know what now, if we had just think if we when we stand up in front of in front of committee, county, city, commissioners, community commissioners, municipalities, and that bank is standing next to us, because we’re addressing a need that they have to have that they share as well. Think how powerful that is. I don’t even want you to talk. You don’t have to say one word to stand in with me while I yell and scream and pound the podium. Okay? If we can get those folks when those when when, when the wealthy are affected, or corporations are affected, you notice how quickly stuff gets done. Only the one thing that pandemic prove to me is when we want to get something done, and we need to get something done. It happens like that. So why we can’t do that all the time. So I would employ the financial institutions in the room to partner with the nonprofit’s and partner with community advocates to help get policies and get and bring procedures down that can help the whole community, not just a certain just not just a small field.

Axel-Lute 41:22

That was a perfect transition to the next question, which was about responsibility. How do we balance we talk a lot about public responsibility. But there’s also private responsibility private institutions and the roles that they play. So jumping off from Cornell’s comments, Andreanecia, do you want to speak to that?

Morris 41:42

Sure. So we’ve got to, we have to absolutely have to balance it. You know, again, one of the big things that we want to see from the public sector is market regulation. I know that’s a dirty word to a lot of people, they get really nervous about that. But the fact of the matter is, to Dedrick’s point, we cannot allow these things to go unchecked. We cannot ignore programs, government programs that have been put in place that were wildly in equitable government policies that we’re still living with, right. Some of you some of us in our communities have, you know, have restrictions and covenants and zoning policies to this day, that that perpetuate the inequities that we’ve been talking about today. So government’s got to lead. And it’s got to frame the market in a way that’s really helpful and strong. And then we’ve got to also look to our friends in the private sector. Again, to Cornell’s point, one of the things that was really perplexing during COVID, was the fact that landlords who had used their position, and actually you have in places like Louisiana and other parts of the country, where people equate property ownership with citizenship. And it’s not just the rest of the country, it’s the whole country, right? When we go when we think about the inequities in our country’s founding, we often we talk about the fact that enslaved Africans could not vote when when this country was founded, women could not vote, you know, Native Americans, people who were on the shores who could not vote. There’s another group that we forget about White men who didn’t own property. And I’m not here to cry for them. But I’m here to point out that going back to the country’s founding, ownership of property was the clearance to make to mean that you were a citizen. And we’ve been chasing that standard ever since. So when we talk about that now, and we look at COVID. And when you think about before COVID, you think about how landlords in so many parts of the country, you know, want to don’t want to be regulated want to talk about what’s my property, I own it. And then renters rights is, you know, not something that they want to talk about. And then when you see the effect of that we COVID How landlords get not crying for them, but how landlords are excluded from PPP loans. It’s not seen as a business, right. And then when we see how and how badly so many of our municipalities did, when given billions of dollars in rental assistance, allowing 1000s of households to be evicted and landlords, instead of turning to their clients, their customers and saying we’re in this together. They’re screwing both of us. And we need to work together hand in hand to make sure that you renter can have a stable home and me landlord can pay my bills. Instead, they went balls to the wall to fight against the perceived notion that they would now that they would be forced to house people during a pandemic and not be compensated. Instead of saying no, no, why can’t you just pay me? I should be housing This person may have lost their job to through no fault of their own. But that would take the kind of radical acceptance that we’re not ready for. That we’re in, and we can do it. But we’ve got to think about it in these kinds of ways. It can’t simply be the haves and the have nots. If your business model is dependent upon someone hat not having what it is that you’re selling, your business model is wildly inequitable, and unsustainable. And we have to move past that we have to recognize I am not opposed to people making money, providing housing, not making money selling houses, I’m not opposed to that people building wealth, I am not opposed to those things. But we’ve got to let go of this, this bias, this insistence that the only way you win, is to make sure that somebody else loses. Because it’s not going to work. It’s not going to work. That’s how you get an inflation. That’s how you get an S ignoring an inflation crisis driven by housing. Because as soon as everybody sees a gas going down below $4 a gallon, who were out of it, except those of you who have now you’re now paying double what you’re playing, and you’re out, because nobody’s gonna talk about that once gas falls below a certain price, that our friends in the media, Miriam excluded, we’ll stop talking about housing, even though that problem will not have been fixed unless we make some, some real changes over the next few years.

Asante-Muhammad 46:41

And I’ll just jump in about holding, you know, it’s gonna require mass government action. But you know, there’s much that private institutions can do anything, it’s us to hold private institutions accountable. I mean, I think one, you know, now, all financial institutions talk about racial equity, right and off many talking about green and you know, climate change, but we got to hold them accountable. Like, how can you say you’re, you know, taking important measures for climate change, but your funding development, which is making climate change even worse, right, like, we need to hold them accountable that you can’t, how can you say you’re for racial equity, but you only loan 4% of your mortgage lending to African Americans and your areas? 20%, Black? You know, and I’ll highlight, you know, there’s the NCRC, fair lending tool for all of our members where you can get the data on the individual banks in your community, and how they’re lending to different racial groups, how they’re doing lending for low to moderate income, all of these things. And so you can say, Well, you say you’re this, but this is what you’re doing. So what is your plan? What are you doing? So we do you know, again, I don’t think the private institutions gonna solve it themselves. But we can at least hold them accountable to you know, some measure of change. And again, that’s why we did the 60%, Black homeownership paper because I wanted to get understanding, what can I hold off private institutions to do? So nationwide need a 50% increase in Black homeownership every year? So I want to go to every bank and be Well, where’s your 50% increase in Black homeownership to help get Black? So 60% homeownership in 20 years? Right? So, you know, I think we need to hold on with quantifiable numbers, not just with nice pamphlets and using the politically correct language. Oh, and also, just note, I’m gonna have to leave a little bit early. I’m whatever, moderating the lunch panel, but very much enjoy.

Axel-Lute 48:28

Great. Did you address that question, Chantelle? 

Wilkinson 48:33

Before I add, I think the question that we get the most in the campaign is why the federal government needs to be involved. And we say all the time is because we need the investments. And we need the investments to help state and local governments. But we also make sure to say that the private sector also has a part to play in this as well. So I think the perfect word that was used here is balanced, and that we need to see balance and all of those sectors in the federal government playing its part, state and local playing their parts in terms of policies and local ordinances and all those things, as well as the private sector also playing their part as well, to ensure that we do have the kind of outcomes that we’re looking for.

Axel-Lute 49:07

Great. So all of you have mentioned at different times, the radical there are radical solutions we need if we have political will. And I’m going to ask you now to bring some of those up and and say them concretely, we’re going to frame this in this way. If all the players especially the federal government, but all the players if they really meant it, starting with conditions as they are right now, if they really meant it, that they cared about fixing this problem. What would it look like? What would be happening? What would they be doing?

Wilkinson 49:45

Yeah, well, I’ll say right now we have an unprecedented moment to invest in targeted affordable housing in 2021. We saw build back better come up. And that framework had historic investments in affordable housing. So Right now we’re talking about 25 billion in rental assistance, 65 billion to preserve public housing, and 15 billion for the National Housing Trust Fund, which is dedicated. It’s a dedicated funding stream for the lowest-income housing across the country. And so these efforts have been stalled by Senator Manchin of West Virginia. And recently, conversations have been starting up, but it sounds like it has recently died again. And so there’s a slim chance that we have to include housing and we continue to keep pushing for that, through the campaign. And through the work of analyzed See, we least recently sent a sign on letter which has 43 signatories of the multi-sector organizations that are involved with the campaign on that letter, urging Congress to include those targeted housing investments in any reconciliation package that they talk about at this point. And so overall, when we are talking about solutions to affordable housing, we really talked about it in a demand supply and prevention to kind of bucket we talked about that in the demand side that rental assistance is needed, such as vouchers, in order to bridge the gap between rents and incomes. We talked about that we need a increase in supply an area where there is scarcity. So we’re talking about that increase in the National Housing Trust Fund. And we also talk about making sure that people who are experiencing some type of unexpected economic shock like a broken down car, like a medical bill, like lost hours at work, that they don’t need to spiral, we’re talking about that in terms of temporary assistance, we did see that through the pandemic, we did have our kind of like emergency assistance needed and was funded to some level. But we need that to be reoccurring. We need legislation that has a stable and permanent Temporary Assistance Fund to make sure that it catches people when there is something unexpected. So they don’t need to spiral when something does occur and come up. We also have legislation that has been introduced, we have the eviction crisis act that has the temporary assistance in there, as well as the family stability and opportunity vouchers act that would create 500,000 New vouchers for families with young kids. So the opportunities are there, the policies are there, we need Congress to act on these bills in order to see some change and some advancement in terms of what we’re looking at in terms of the affordable housing crisis. And the last thing I mentioned, and I think it is important to mention, and to address is that it really goes back to that balance is that we do see limitations with the policies that we’re pushing for as well. The federal government is going to and with these programs, we are talking about huge investments in these programs. But we also do look to the state and local governments to also address things if we pass vouchers, we also need to ensure that there’s a source of income discrimination bill that also couples that because we know that landlords are rejecting people with vouchers, and that’s a problem. And so we need to make sure that there is a balance and everyone is doing their part in terms of the type of solutions that we are talking about. So in terms of what Congress can do today, there is there are many opportunities actually, that are out there, we’re just seeing it being stalled. We’re seeing frustration across the board in terms of advocacy, because we have these huge investments to all the social programs and historic numbers that have not been seen in housing. And I don’t I don’t even think has ever seen in housing. And for it to crumble and pretty much kind of just a dead end conversation that keeps coming up and coming down again, just really shows that if you care that you would make sure that housing was part of that infrastructure housing was part of that reconciliation package without question. And we have attic advocates that are talking about housing as a fundamental pillar of their own goals and priorities. So it’s just important, and I think that the opportunities are definitely out there. It’s not that we need to create them, they’re there. We’re just seeing just an activity in terms of enacting them.

Asante-Muhammad 54:02

And I’m gonna jump in real quick, so I’m gonna have to go. I think, you know, those federal policies were great that you listed. I just want to know, you know, I think sometimes that sounds we get lost in numbers. We have more quantitative numbers, but sometimes people will. And I think NCRC does it too sometimes, right? We have a billion dollar agreement, or there’s four 40 billion being spent to this. But what what’s doing like, so after this 40 billion is spent, is there going to be a 10% rise in affordable housing, are we bringing this like without that I kind of I don’t care about money being spent to say it’s been spent, I want to know, what effect do we expect to have afterwards? Right. I think of the community benefit agreement, do we think there’s going to be community-wide change? Maybe that’s unfair for one institution? So is the institution going to be increasing its percentage of loans to low- to moderate-income, or African American or Latino, whatever you’re advocating for? We need to have those end result numbers, not just dollar amounts that seem like a ridiculous thing. out of money to us, we really would have little effect on the problems we’re trying to address. One specific thing i’ll put forward to is, you know, we well, you know, I think it’s also one challenge we have is oftentimes when people talk about low- to moderate-income, that ignores the racial wealth divide, right? Because you know, African Americans, African Americans have middle-income African Americans have less wealth than low-income White Americans, right. So if you’re really trying to create a policy that will also bridge race, Black/White racial inequality, you have to create programs that increase homeownership for people in deep asset poverty, and my and my view, middle income or even high income, right, there’s a decent amount of quote unquote, high income African Americans who don’t have who don’t have who aren’t homeowners, so need to have that type of investigation. And there’s a thing called Special Purpose credit programs, right, which banks can do, aimed at particular communities. People say, Oh, well, you can’t just create a program for Blacks. Yes. Again, it’s called the special purpose credit program. You can do it for Latinos, you can do it is even federally interesting programs for Native Americans, in particular for homeownership that needs some reform, right? Latino native Native American homeownership is only around 50 51%. We need to strengthen that but you can have particular programs for because like we have a particular problem. So we need particular, there’s a broader problem, right? There’s affordable housing is a problem as a whole for the country. But there’s a particular problem for African Americans a particular problem for Latinos that need to be addressed. So that type of advice seems to be a part of it. And thanks everyone for their attendance and thanks for the speaker.

Morris 56:41

So with Dedrick heading off, I want to Amen everything that he just said, and again, talking about why it’s so necessary because again, you can’t solve those problems. You can’t build a strong foundation on cracks, right. And so if you do these higher level programs, that’s what we’ve been having. And so to also chime in on Chantelle’s point there’s a bill that’s been passed that actually does have these opportunities, but most people don’t think of it that way. We don’t talk about it that way. It’s investing in infrastructure and Jobs Act. Well, there are there are billions of dollars available being made available, actually for weatherization to address the kinds of problems that I talked about earlier that we could use to address the 622,000 households in Louisiana, who are energy costs burden. Why aren’t we right? We’re going around and allowing this to be framed in a great infrastructure language. When there is oodles of green infrastructure and equitable infrastructure funding inside of that, and we’re ignoring frankly, the last time we did this, this this build is often compared to the New Deal. But soon as of history know that the New Deal was wildly inequitable. It built a lot of the modern public housing, it also built it in segregation in trying segregation inside of that public housing. In Louisiana. In New Orleans, for example, the first six public housing developments that were built as a result of the New Deal were built in segregated pairs, one for Black, one for White, on and on and on. That’s what came out of the New Deal. That also we also talked about the GI Bill and how it was wildly inequitable and not implemented and how African American soldiers who served with distinction amongst the greatest generation were actually pro prevented from taking advantage of it. So that’s why Dedrick mentioned that we have to have those targeted responses. Because the because the bias was targeted, the hate was targeted. In order to address it, you can’t just throw out there and said, Well, anybody who might be hurt by this, come and take your who might be experiencing this problem, come and take advantage of these other programs. And so we need to be looking at the the infrastructure bill in a way in a different way. And we need to be asking our leaders, we need to be asking the Biden administration to put the money where the need is forget about their mouths, right? And we don’t care if they put the money where their mouth is, we can put the money where the need actually is.

Crews 59:10

So I’d like to see a couple of things that I’d like to see done and and I agree with my my stream, esteemed panelists, but a couple of things and that’s strong penalties for predatory discriminatory lending practices. I think it’s crazy how we’re still in we’re in the 21st century and we’re still here. You know, I constantly say, Why am I still fighting the same fight that my grandmother fought in the 50s? I think we we got to address those those those predatory discriminatory practices. And another thing I’d like to add is appraisal. You if if, if I’m an African American and I see that African Americans are routinely their appraisals are being routinely done I downgraded simply because of their African American that discourages me from buying the houses Well, I put all the sweat and money and everything else into purchasing a home. And then someone has the authority to come in and, and down my appraisal simply because they don’t like my skin color. There are 78,000 appraisers in this country, well, less than 2%, African American, less than 2%. And we had a meeting with NCRC, we had a meeting with the with the HUD secretary and one of the things we bought up is somehow some way we got to get more training and more diversity in appraisers. So there’s something that’s something else that we truly need to work on. And then the last thing I will you know, one of the last things I would like to talk about is improving loan officer diversity inclusion. USA Today, late, late last October, ran an article about a professional basketball player, the one of the purchase a home. So he got he got he got his realtor went to what to do, what to do the found a house what to do the mortgage. And the mortgage officer actually asked him, How do you want to be what what race? Do you want to check on the mortgage form? Do you want check African American and you want to check white? And he’s African American? And he said, Why would I check white? He said, Well, you got a better chance of this mortgage going through if you check white. This just happened last year. Again, here we are 2021 Still adjusted the same things that we had problems with in the 50s and 60s. And this was a man who had who had means guaranteed contract and wanted to purchase a home. So I think we have I think that we have to do we have a lot of work to do as far as the predatory and discriminatory lending practices, and the and the device diversity and inclusion of loan officers as well. So I think that’s also some things that we definitely have to work on.

Axel-Lute 1:01:59

Okay. Thanks, Cornell. So we have questions, we’re going to move right into those. So we have and if you are willing to say your name, your organization, and also maybe stay at the mic and see if the panelists want to ask you anything in return have a little bit of a dialogue.

Audience Question 1:02:17

That’s no problem. That’s why I wanted to get up here quickly. First, I want to say I appreciate Miss Morris. I always love when I hear people again, speak about historical facts, not just speak Emotionally, I, I’m a great historian, and I appreciate that. And Bill Russell was one of the people in the 50s, who got 11 championships for Boston and was able to move into the neighborhoods and hear what you’re saying, Oh, my question has a lot to do with us as a people. us as a people, we’re talking about being able to purchase homes. And my thing is, many of us have been brought up in Roma homes, generation to generation, why my career started out as a debit agent, so many projects, those are my clients. And so from generation to generation, the great grandmother, grandmother, the mother, the baby girl, they all got pregnant, they all lived in the projects being taught, they can’t buy homes, being taught, they can’t afford to buy homes, being taught to buy homes as a White people thing. So I’m coming back to this point, how is it that we can bring about the education to our people, for them to be taught about being able to purchase those? Well to understand this thing about the wealth process for them to know, not just how why? What are the possibilities of purchase, and what they can do to basically purchase a home? How can we go about that? Because it’s easy to point fingers away, folks.

Morris 1:03:50

But we’ve Yeah, we’ve got to address that. That’s the elephant in the room, right? Because what ends up happening is unfortunately, everyone knows someone who knows someone who embodies the welfare queen stereotype, right? That’s what that’s one of the reasons why we don’t like to let it go. So one of the things that we’ve been talking about in Louisiana, with our housing for all strategy is and it’s something that needs to happen with disaster funding, it needs to happen when we have COVID relief. It all needs to be paired with comprehensive wraparound supportive services. We have got to acknowledge that housing insecurity has traumatize generation after generation after generation. And it needs to be addressed. One of the things and sometimes it results in behavioral problems, behavioral issues that we dismiss with the brushes of classism and inter racism and sometimes colorism and all the other isms. We say that that person is trash, that they don’t want to act, right. Instead looking at well, what’s the trauma, right what what caused the behavior, where is the intervention, where’s the investment in that person? And something that we’re really sensitive to New Orleans because we’ve had so many disasters, and so many crises and then you watch our government respond with callousness and insincerity and just fear sometimes, like, you have people, you have program officers, staff who’ve been hired to run programs, you’re telling people when they come in, I can’t help you. Because the program has been designed in a way without any thought, without any without any regard for that person. And when that person has an emotional response, what happens? There’s more security put out that it’s happened time and time and time and time again, in New Orleans disaster after disaster, somebody pops off because they were told something that was wrong, right? They were so well, I can’t help you. Because we have designed this in a way to screw you. And you got to just sit here and take it right. And they break in that moment. And they don’t do anything like there’s no violence. They just get upset, but they’re not allowed to be angry because they should come into that situation perfectly behaved in order to get their government handouts. That is how we view this. And so we’ve got to recognize so that yes, our people do need help. They do need support, but our people are not trash. They are they are traumatized. They are not trifling, they are traumatized. We’ve got to own that. And we’ve got to get them help. We got to get ourselves help. And so we do not we can’t I can’t accept that, that the welfare queen wants to be that way. Exactly. So we and again, there’s NCRC talked about but we’ve also got to recognize that we let our government cut cut these programs. Homebuyer Assistance has been radically disinvested in since the 2008 financial crisis. And it’s one of the craziest things I’ve ever seen. Right, because the 2008 financial crisis was caused mostly by middle class folks who did not understand the basics of arms, or adjustable rate mortgages and got themselves into trouble being preyed upon by the by Wall Street and a bunch of other dumb money that wanted to make a lot of money. And instead of saying, anybody, everybody who needs to buy a house, anybody who needs to buy a house, we had this conversation last week with bank I shall not name where we talked about that bank, requiring homebuyer education for all of its lenders instead of ghettoizing it, and only saying that it should be required for first time homeowners. And they said, Well, you know, that the fact that that person bought a $600,000 house when they could only afford $300,000 actually demonstrated that person had financial literacy. That’s one of the one of the bank officers said, because that person had knowledge of the gap, the cracks in the system, and he took advantage of it. That that’s what we do in this country. We we deify money in a way that if you have it or access it, that’s that makes you smart. When actually, it doesn’t want to make money. 

Axel-Lute 1:08:05

Yeah. I want to make sure everyone else gets Yes, because we’re running.

Audience 1:08:07

Apologize. I didn’t give my name Miami Manuel de shields and I’m the president of the be ready. Development Corporation. So okay, I was supposed to sit at first.

Axel-Lute 1:08:15

Okay, thank you.

Audience Question 1:08:17

Um, good morning or afternoon, Nikki Beasley, Executive Director of Richmond neighborhood housing services. So we have spent a lot of time as a housing counseling agency, getting people qualified, but being from the Bay Area, high cost market, we’ve been spending a lot of time on production. So for the panel, especially in local markets, when we talk about innovative radical solutions, have any of you looked into social impact bonds, which we’re leveraging, which is another way to gain capital through banks? Because traditionally what we found and another question, thoughts about how to change municipalities thought process that homeownership should not be a focus of affordable housing, because, you know, if you can’t afford a home, then you need no help, as well as uncoupling race and income in those conversations.

Crews 1:09:05

I know that we are I’m glad you brought that up the social and I love that that phrase social impact investing. I was just at a at a conference last week talking about social impact investing and we’re looking at it from a point of view of all the money flowing into our state from tech companies and and leaving California and New York come into our state and we’re looking at them as also looking at them as as investing in our in our housing. Our mayor, Miami Dade County may have just opened up a fund in order to facilitate those particular items. And so far, she’s raised almost 100 million just from just from the tech companies and things that are moving to our state so we’re trying to try and invest said I wouldn’t NCRC we are we when we do the community benefits agreements, we bring that up with the banks so they can invest as well.

Audience 1:09:57

Yeah, not just want to share it’s a little different than the A investment. It’s strictly looking at banks to be able to invest. Because what tends to happen? They’ll say, Well, we gave to, you know, light tech and others. But this is another avenue to address the car. Thank you. Thank you.

Audience Question 1:10:16

Hello, my name is Jonathan capelli. I’m the Executive Director of the neighborhood development collaborative, which is a coalition of the fordable housing nonprofits in Colorado. And my question is, so actually, I think it was Dedrick earlier who said that the market access to the market is a is very important and reducing discrimination. But that’s not how we got to the homeowners, homeownership rates broken out by race to be currently having this country. So that’s not enough. There was a huge subsidy that went in, they got us to where we are today. Right? So what’s the huge subsidy now that we’re actually going to use the bill back better plan insofar as that sort of like a strategy is $150 billion for housing, just based on what I was going through here, only 10 billion is for homeownership. And it’s only downpayment assistance, which doesn’t work in a lot of markets. It certainly doesn’t work in Colorado, where housing prices are so Hi. So, you know, rental housing, has low income, housing tax, credit, ly tech, you know, is that the idea is a larger carve out of HUD funding, you know, certain percentage of home that has to use for homeownership, what’s the specific federal program at what funding level that we need to drastically increase homeownership in this country, thank you.

Wilkinson 1:11:36

I mean, I can start off the answer, but my own is going to focus on the affordable housing piece. Our idea here with the affordable housing piece is to address those that need it the most. So I address the need of those that are at homelessness, or just right at the brink of homelessness, which they do need rental assistance, you know, we’re seeing it, it’s literally on the streets. And so when we’re talking about vouchers, and we’re talking about the National Housing, the natural Housing Trust Fund, as opposed to like tech, because like Tech has a lot of issues, and the National Housing Trust Fund is really specific to those at the lowest income spectrum, without a lot of what is we’ve seen with light tech in terms of like the controversy about where those units have been built, and how it has not helped with equity over the year. So we talked about fostering inclusive communities. But we really do stay away from necessarily putting a lot of focus on light tech and putting it mostly on the National Housing Trust Fund. So when I do talk about affordable housing in this way, and the programs that we’re talking about, we’re addressing the needs of people at the lowest end of the spectrum, so at homelessness are close to, and those programs we see is putting people in housing. And often we say that by not addressing those at the lowest end of the income spectrum, we’re having a trickle effect upward, because it’s just they’re just trying to get housing. And now we’re having we’re seeing problems at every income level, because we’re not addressing those at the lowest end of the spectrum, who are who need the assistance the most. And so just going to put that out there as when we address the need, we are addressing it at that level. And we also say that there are limitations to what we do advocate for in terms of affordable housing, and that there’s only one piece of the problem that needs to be addressed. But we do know that people need to be housed. And not just house but quality housing, like housing that is accessible, that is affordable, that is decent, that is safe, that really does look at the well being of individuals. 

Morris 1:13:32

Yeah, I got I’ve got a more specific answer on that one as well. So it’s worked because we’ve done that work in New Orleans, specifically, as a part of our housing for all strategy, we actually broke down and looked at the numbers for New Orleans just for the city of New Orleans to talk about how do we end the affordable housing crisis? And how do we create first time homeownership and to break to close down racial equity gap? racial wealth gap, sorry, and promote homeownership long term? So what are those numbers? And how do we invest in them? And that’s one of the things that we encourage people to do we want people to do mostly is to talk about in your individual communities, because you’re right, there are programs out there, that could work in your communities, but there’s a lot that won’t. And so you need to know those numbers. So the programs that I’m telling you that we are looking at number one, the weatherization funding, that is one because one of the things that we got to make sure that we do is we’ve got to talk about preserving homeownership in the long run. So you’ve got to be making investments in properties. Bringing insurance rates down is going to be a huge issue in this country when it comes to preserving home homeownership. So you’ve got to be making some investments, making programs available that weatherize the home and also make sure that that home that the insurance rates are affordable, and that works whether or not is preservation or for some homeownership because you could have someone qualify for $150,000 You have a developer who’s built the homes exactly at that price. But now what we You’re with insurance, they come in and all of a sudden, the deals dead because you can’t make the insurance numbers work, because the investment because the market is way out of whack. We also talk about not just the Homebuyer Assistance, the downpayment and closing cost assistance, but those soft sex soft seconds, and making sure that there’s money coming in from a variety of sources for those for those kinds of programs, to close those gaps. And to really not and not to be looking at it as a, what’s the word of as a gift, right, we’ve got to be looking at a stabilization, neighborhood stabilization, because you know, the prices are out of whack. So you got to start cooling the market down. And another way we want to look at doing that is increasing production, right? We’ve got to we hate talking about that part of it. But we’ve got to get our small mom and pop contractors, we’ve got to get them to stabilize their prices, there’s certain things that you can’t deal with, right? You can’t deal with what to buy for costs. That’s a national issue. But we can be talking about the fact that this local contractor is working with a nonprofit, I’m looking at one of my nonprofit builders right here from Louisiana, that when they go to build with somebody, they quote them, like they’re never going to build another house with them again. Right, they might come back in six months, they might not that contract is like, Okay, I gotta get all the money I need out of you. For this house, I gotta put it, I gotta tax you a little bit extra, because your nonprofit, you’re gonna be slow to pay, and all these other things, because that business that that contractor isn’t comfortable, you know, and again, we we we show that we lift up these issues, we talk about them in a very, what’s the word I’m looking for here, we cavalier way, right? Like all small businesses, small contractors can do this work. But we’re not really looking at the issue. So the I come back to, y’all need to really look at the issue, break down the numbers, and there are different programs out there, that needs to be better capitalized, that can work that they can work to address the problems in Colorado,

Audience 1:16:57

Thank you, I want to gentleman be able to go behind me. But every time this argument sort of happens with helping the lowest income folks, half of my more than half my members are served, you know, really low incomes, including those experiencing homelessness. So we need to serve those people 100%. However, if you make that argument in an environment of scarcity becomes a zero sum game, and you’re only ever going to find rental housing, you pass about $600 million in housing funds here in Colorado, just in Colorado, zero progress from ownership, and it wasn’t enough for rental housing. So we can’t just kind of have that org need to create new solutions that are as big and bold for homeownership.

Audience Question 1:17:40

I’ll be quick because I know everybody’s hungry for lunch. And it’s not even to the panel, just this stuff, everybody in the room. And I got I got woken up in the last panel because I got pissed off. Because I had every plan on just coming and learning not on the feedback, I’ll be shorter like this one, I gotta book it. So I think it’s my favorite panel. But I, again, this is a great seat to NCRC as a paying member of NCRC I think a lot of this information is very high level. And everybody in here is privileged at some capacity to be here. And I think like we really need more folks in the room, or we need to go to people that are affected by these issues in a very real way. Like maybe like, like two quick things. And I’m not gonna say shadows while I’m here. Well, I’ll give you an example for advocacy we NCRC is asking folks from Texas to talk to the offices of crude and quarantine, right? It’s kind of like read the room, like like, why are we talking to these people that have shown not only historically but in like very recently that they don’t care about Black and Brown folks right. Two: I’m hoping, man I wish Dedrick was here because I’m hoping that NCRC will use some of these conversations that were that I heard here to start building the people’s needs into their advocacy goals and agenda as opposed to asking us to help you with your policy goals and agendas. And then the last thing, you know, like Yeah, like, I think a lot of my my, my frustration with this is what we’re talking about is very real. This has been the best panel I’ve been to so far. And I really think the key missing ingredient that makes this a SEVEN conference out of a 10 conference is that there are people that are affected by these issues that are not in the room, right like we keep having these intellectual high level as conversations without the people that are in the room. So again, my challenge and again I say this as a person you ain’t got invited me back I’m still gonna come anyway. Like I think now like, like, like a lot of this. A lot of this conference setup is missing a geared steering by people that needs to be in decision making seats, right? We need more poor folks. We need more Black woman, queer folks, incarcerated folks to be on your board to make sure like, we can take this back in a very real way and I Miran is not okay. Um, and again, it’s just like, it’s my last thing to everybody in the room. I think we have to be serious about being able being willing to struggle together, right? Like alright, I’ll say this I’m gonna sit down sort of go, Oh, it’s 2020 and I knew I knew she wasn’t gonna change because like, this was American society, right? 2020 everybody was like George Floyd is the last time he’s gonna happen. We all act like he’s gonna do something. And then nothing happened because we are so caught up in like, actually not sacrifice enough to get shit done. In the 60s, I believe it was isolated of Switzerland. Women wanted seats at the table, women organized throughout the nation to say, You know what, we’re not going to work until we get seated at a table. Women stopped working for a week, country shut down. Now women have been in power in Switzerland or Iceland, one of these countries for the past 1640 years, right. But in this country, we keep saying we need these things. But then we keep we keep plugging back into the status quo. So nothing changes. Prime example. Everybody’s talking about we need to do something with gun safety and protect our kids at schools. But come August says in September, you will take your kids right back to the schools where nothing is changing, right? So just like what did we actually willing to do? Give up, mobilize and organize to make sure that housing actually becomes a fundamental basic human. Right, right. And that’s not on you all, you all didn’t find NCRC? I’m asking you to not be just another high level conference. Like let’s actually take this like, even in fact, this conference is always in DC. Like let’s take this conference to New Orleans in Austin were in 2016. Austin was the most segregated, segregated economically city in the country where rent just went up 54% Over the last year, like we need to take the set of people as opposed to excellent people to come to us. I got more to say, but I’ll leave it at that. 

Chaz More from Texas.

Crews 1:21:52

Okay. So tell us more. Both Andreanecia and myself sit on the board. I wrote down everything you said. I will bring it up. We have a board meeting tomorrow morning. Yes, I will bring it up at the board meeting tomorrow more than I can promise you that.

Audience 1:22:04

Yeah. You know, I mean, I think this is a good space, but it’s just like, I think the shit that we’re talking about. Is only it’s in a bubble of people that can afford to be here. We need to have it you got it. You got it.

Axel-Lute 1:22:27

Thank you everyone. Enjoy your lunch.

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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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