Forbes: Mortgage lending to poor under attack and blacks, hispanics priced out of housing markets

Forbes, April 27, 2018: Mortgage lending to poor under attack and blacks, hispanics priced out of housing markets

Reports that the Trump administration planned a big revision to the 1977 Community Reinvestment Act came out in January. The CRA is a long-standing attempt to push back against lender redlining of minority neighborhoods and a lack of equal mortgage lending to equivalent borrowers.

Now there’s news from the Wall Street Journal that the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), one of the major bank regulatory bodies, has suggested a major change in lending rules that help the poor. It’s a continuing pattern of an attempt to roll back regulations in an area that, as history has shown, badly needs them.

A change in lending rules to make business easier and more attractive for bankers at the potential loss of minority and lower-income communities would only exacerbate wealth inequality and home ownership.

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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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