The Guardian: ‘My Parkdale Is Gone’: How Gentrification Reached The One Place That Seemed Immune

The Guardian, January 14, 2020: ‘My Parkdale Is Gone’: How Gentrification Reached The One Place That Seemed Immune

By now, Michael Nguyen expects them: every month or so, someone representing one international real estate investment firm or another crosses the threshold of the Parkdale Intercultural Association, a non-profit immigrant settlement agency he runs on a busy stretch of Toronto’s Queen Street West.

“It’s the same every time: Who owns the building? How do I get in touch with them? Do they want to sell?” shrugged Nguyen, whose centre has been helping new immigrants adjust to Canadian life for decades. “We’re fortunate — the owner believes in what we do, so we feel safe. But you know the same questions are being asked of everyone all around here. And not everyone is going to say no.”

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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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