WBAL TV: Residents, community groups react to bank branch closing in Brooklyn

WBAL TV, December 20, 2021, Residents, Community Groups React To Bank Branch Closing In Brooklyn

Brooklyn, in southwest Baltimore, is a neighborhood at a crossroads. The COVID-19 pandemic, along with other issues, have created some inequities. A bank the community relied on has shut its doors.

Bank of America told 11 News the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and other challenges led to the permanent shutdown. Only the ATM remains open.

“When you lose a bank branch, you are losing more than a location, you’re losing opportunities for families working hard to deposit checks and build a banking relationship and learn about building credit,” said Marceline White, of the Maryland Consumer Rights Coalition.

White is also part of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition.

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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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