NPQ: Undoing Structural Racism: The Need for Systemic Change in Housing Policy

NPQ, August 4, 2021, Undoing Structural Racism: The Need for Systemic Change in Housing Policy

The federal government first became a national guarantor of mortgage lending in the 1930s. When it did, federal policy acted to reinforce preexisting structural racism. The National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) has described how the Home Owners’ Loan Corporation (HOLC), established during the administration of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, drew maps dividing neighborhoods based on the quality of their housing stock and the risk posed to lending institutions

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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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