The Miami Herald: They didn’t pay a hitman with the cash. Why aren’t more minority PPP loans in Miami being forgiven? | Editorial

The Miami Herald, March 26, 2022, They didn’t pay a hitman with the cash. Why aren’t more minority PPP loans in Miami being forgiven? | Editorial

There have been headline-making abuses of federal Paycheck Protection Program loans in South Florida, known for years as the fraud capital of the nation.

There’s evidence of bias from the start of the program. According to researchers at the National Community Reinvestment Coalition, a group that advocates an end to discrimination in housing, lending and business, white prospective borrowers were more often encouraged to apply for a loan than Black prospective borrowers. (In April and May of 2020, the organization sent white and Black prospective borrowers, in similar financial situations, to banks to ask about the loans.) Additionally, women were given less information than men.

Anneliese Lederer, director of fair lending and consumer protection at the NCRC, called it “blatant discrimination.”

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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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