The Appeal: How Demands for affordable housing are defining Pittsburgh’s Mayoral Race

The Appeal, May 7, 2021, How Demands for affordable housing are defining Pittsburgh’s Mayoral Race

A disproportionate number of Black residents have left the city, and advocates say the next mayor needs to ensure greater access to housing.

Between 2013 and 2019, Pittsburgh’s Black population fell by nearly 8,000, more than 10 percent of all Black people living in the city. During the same time, about 1,200, less than 1 percent, of white residents left, according to the U.S. Census American Community Survey Five-Year estimates.

Pittsburgh is one of the most gentrified cities in the country, according to a 2019 report from the National Community Reinvestment Coalition. More than 10 percent of the city’s Black residents have left since 2013, compared to less than 1 percent of white residents. Advocates say increases in rents and home prices are part of the problem. They’re calling on the next mayor to make housing more affordable.

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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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