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ecoRI News: Mind the Gap: R.I.’s Affordable Housing Stock Fails to Meet Need

ecoRI News, August 8, 2022, Mind the Gap: R.I.’s Affordable Housing Stock Fails to Meet Need

A 2018 study by the National Community Reinvestment Coalition examined how neighborhoods were evaluated for lending risk by the HOLC, and compares their recent social and economic conditions with city-level measures of segregation and economic inequality. The study revealed:

Underwriting practices institutionalized by the Federal Housing Administration acted to further cement residential segregation in the urban structure of the United States…

The economic and racial segregation created by redlining persists in many cities to this day…

Persistent economic inequality. There is significantly greater economic inequality in cities where more of the HOLC graded high-risk or hazardous…

Persistent residential segregation. Both Black and Hispanic residents of “hypersegregated” cities are unevenly distributed and have lower levels of interaction with non-Hispanic whites. People of color also tend to be more clustered in areas of cities where there were more HOLC-labeled high-risk or hazardous neighborhoods.

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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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