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NPR: Buffalo plagued by economic neglect, segregation long before shooting, residents say

NPR, May 23, 2022, Buffalo plagued by economic neglect, segregation long before shooting, residents say

Buffalo is one of the most economically stunted cities in the nation. It is also one of the most segregated.

A 2018 study from Buffalo’s Partnership for the Public Good described a wide, and growing, racial and socioeconomic chasm within Buffalo.

“While racial segregation has declined slightly in recent years, economic segregation has increased, resulting in neighborhood conditions growing worse – not better – for most people of color in the region,” the study found.

“Segregation imposes a wide range of costs on people of color, impairing their health, education, job access, and wealth. Individuals living in segregated neighborhoods tend to have less access to services that allow adequate standards of living, and their economic mobility is severely impaired.”

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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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