Senator Warren proposes new vision for affordable housing and economic opportunity

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senator Elizabeth Warren announced a new bill tackling discriminatory lending, Community Reinvestment Act modernization, affordable homeownership and relief for families still recovering from the Great Recession. 

Jesse Van Tol, CEO of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (www.ncrc.org), made the following statement:

“Senator Warren is proposing a bold vision for addressing financial opportunity, one of the most elusive problems of 21st century America. This bill tackles the increasing rent burden and barriers to homeownership faced by millions of Americans.

“Recently, our organization released research showing that neighborhoods redlined almost a century ago still struggle economically. This bill would directly address that decades-old injustice. Sen. Warren’s bill would launch a new program for first-time homebuyers in formerly redlined areas. A step like this is long overdue.

“Senator Warren also prioritizes long-overdue relief for families and communities that have yet to recover from the Great Recession. At a time when the banking industry has returned to record profitability, our communities are still hurting. Many neighborhoods were suffering before the Great Recession, and are worse off today. We cannot solve this problem without the entire financial services industry at the table, exercising leadership and a deep commitment to building more economic opportunity for more people.

“This bill presents a vision for updating the Community Reinvestment Act that places the well-being of communities at the center of it. Senator Warren has outlined a broad commitment to safer and more accessible economic opportunity in neighborhoods, communities, cities and rural areas across the country. This legislation should have the support of every fair-minded member of the Senate.”


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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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