fbpx

The New York Times: The race-based mortgage penalty

The New York Times, March 7, 2018: The race-based mortgage penalty

As the Trump administration begins to gut federal enforcement of civil rights laws, minority communities that were targets for predatory home loans before the recession have become vulnerable yet again to mortgage discrimination. This time, many banks are simply writing off communities of color and denying them loans at all.

An alarming new study by the Center for Investigative Reporting’s online publication Reveal found that African-Americans and Latinos were far more likely to be denied conventional mortgages than whites even when income, loan size and other factors were taken into account. The study examined 31 million mortgage records and found disturbing evidence in 61 metropolitan areas, including Atlanta, Detroit, Philadelphia, St. Louis and San Antonio. African-Americans faced their worst obstacles in the South — Mobile, Ala.; Greenville, N.C.; and Gainesville, Fla. — and Latinos in Iowa City.

By denying African-American families mortgage credit, the financial industry also denies them the opportunity to accumulate household wealth — part of the reason that white median family net worth is nearly 10 times that of black families. Beyond that, the decision to withhold credit from minority neighborhoods has turned too many of them into hollowed-out areas with high poverty, failing schools, lower property values and a markedly worse quality of life.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

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

Complete the form to download the full report: