Maryland Reporter: A decade after the Great Recession, home values in some communities remain underwater

Maryland Reporter, May 19, 2020: A decade after the Great Recession, home values in some communities remain underwater

The Great Recession that fueled a mortgage and housing crisis more than a decade ago has faded from memory for most Americans. But not for millions of homeowners – mainly in rural and minority communities – who continue to struggle with depressed home values and underwater mortgages.

And now, worries of a new recession brought on by the coronavirus crisis could compound their troubles.

“COVID is going to introduce a period of lower demand for housing,” said Jason Richardson, the director of research and evaluation for the National Community Reinvestment Coalition. “This is important, since it is this demand for housing that supports home values,” he said, adding that within a few months he expects areas where home values have been depressed for years to see values fall even further.

So far, the national housing market remains in good shape.


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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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