Redlining in Detroit Prompts Formation of a Community Reinvestment Coalition

Membership Newsletter: July 2012 Edition | Redlining in Detroit Prompts Formation of a Community Reinvestment Coalition

Over 100 NCRC members and community activists descended on the Madison Theater Building in downtown Detroit on June 6th to discuss the economic future of region and how they can play a role in ensuring its recovery. NCRC President and CEO John Taylor presented the stark results of a Detroit data analysis project completed by NCRC’s Research and Organizing Departments. The data analysis, an NCRC membership benefit, revealed a startling lack of home loans initiated in low to moderate income neighborhoods as well as inadequate bank branch services in those areas. The six top lenders in the region were analyzed for the study.

After this presentation, a panel of key Detroit community leaders convened to discuss both their experience with these issues and steps they could take to resolve them. When the panel began taking questions from other Michigan community leaders, it became clear that the status quo was unacceptable to those in attendance. A group of leaders at the meeting committed to building a Community Reinvestment coalition that would pick up the good work done by both the Michigan Community Reinvestment Coalition and the Detroit Alliance for Fair Banking and organize to ensure that banks profiting from the region will become better stewards of community wealth.

Reacting to the impressive turnout on June 6th, Heaster Wheeler, Assistant County Executive in Wayne County, Michigan, and Former Executive Director of NAACP’s Detroit Branch exclaimed, “Banks matter! Where we live should not determine if we live, die or have access to basic quality of life opportunities such as banking. There are a lot of people coming together here in Detroit and across southeast Michigan. Several powerfully positive conversations are taking place about what our future might look like. Central to our success is banks sharing our vision and committing to that positive future. We call upon banks to increase access, live the commitment to community reinvestment and aggressively address this foreclosure crisis. Let the future begin, now!”

If you are an NCRC member interested in a data analysis of banks’ performance in your area or would like to discuss how you can work with other community leaders to hold banks accountable in your area, please contact your NCRC Regional Organizer.

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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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