In Reaction to State of the Union Address, NCRC Calls For Focus on Fair Access to Credit

Washington, DC – Today, in reaction to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union Address, NCRC President and CEO John Taylor made the following statement:

“We commend President Obama for his focus on helping working families and combating income inequality. However, this inequality will always persist if we don’t ensure that all creditworthy Americans have fair and equal access to credit, capital and banking services. The evidence is clear: women, minorities and working-class Americans who are creditworthy are being unfairly locked out from critical financial services. That must change.”

“Responsible credit is an essential wealth-building mechanism. It’s what allows an entrepreneur to start or grow his or her business, and what allows a working family to enter homeownership and join the middle class. So it is critical that we make sure that the private sector is investing in our communities and making small business loans, mortgages and banking services available to those who are creditworthy.”

“It is also important to acknowledge that for many, the housing crisis continues. And while we are in the midst of a promising economic recovery as a nation, that recovery has not benefited all communities. In our work with our members throughout the country we see the continuing impact of the crisis every day. The challenges remain for the many Americans whose homes are underwater, or who are trying to become homeowners, or who are looking for living wage jobs. The communities hardest hit by the crisis, particularly communities of color and low- and moderate-income communities, continue to face the toughest challenges. We must work to make sure that communities hit hard by the foreclosure crisis are revitalized and not left behind. ”

On January 7, NCRC applauded President Obama’s announcement of a reduction in FHA mortgage insurance premiums, and called for further changes to increase the affordability of FHA loans.

About the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC): The National Community Reinvestment Coalition is an association of more than 600 community-based organizations that promote access to basic banking services, including credit and savings, to create and sustain affordable housing, job development, and vibrant communities for America’s working families.

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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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