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Politico: Biden’s new dilemma: How to slash housing costs for low-income borrowers

Politico, July 5, 2021, Biden’s new dilemma: How to slash housing costs for low-income borrowers

President Joe Biden’s move to fire the top U.S. mortgage regulator is triggering calls from fellow Democrats to use the agency to expand access to loans for lower-income people, who have struggled to buy homes since the financial crisis.

That’s setting up a clash with Republicans over how far the government should go in shaping an industry that makes up one-fifth of the U.S. economy.

“They knew this moment was coming,” said Jesse Van Tol, CEO of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition, a housing advocacy group. “Why don’t we already have a nominee?”

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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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