Reveal: Community groups propose redlining solutions to Philadelphia City Council

Reveal, March 30, 2018: Community groups propose redlining solutions to Philadelphia City Council

Community groups proposed a long list of solutions to roll back endemic lending discrimination Thursday in a special oversight hearing of the Philadelphia City Council to wipe out modern-day redlining.

Reveal found that African Americans in the Philadelphia area were nearly three times as likely as white applicants to be turned down for conventional home purchase loans, even when they made the same amount of money, sought to take out the same size loan or wanted to buy in the same neighborhood. It was one of 61 metros where Reveal’s analysis, independently confirmed by The Associated Press, exposed a troubling pattern of mortgage denials to people of color.

Though blacks and whites represent similar shares of the population in the Philadelphia metro area, Reveal found white borrowers received 10 times as many conventional home loans as black ones.

Councilman Kenyatta Johnson said he was exploring the idea of directing city deposits to the banks that best serve the community. Other speakers suggested the city create a series of metrics that banks should have to meet to retain government deposits.

Stella Adams, the head of civil rights for the National Community Reinvestment Coalition, said such a system should include a threshold number of home rehabilitation loans to people of color, small business loans, and home purchase loans to low income and minority residents.

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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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