The New York Times: The Trump Administration Is Clearing the Way for Housing Discrimination

The New York Times, January 22, 2020: The Trump Administration Is Clearing the Way for Housing Discrimination

On Monday, the nation honored the towering legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. But the progress he demanded remains unfinished, and nowhere more than in the deeply segregated neighborhoods many of us call home. Dr. King understood that where a person lives determines so many of their opportunities, including access to good jobs, schools, health care, food and safety. Barely a week after Dr. King’s assassination, Congress passed the Fair Housing Act with overwhelming bipartisan support in recognition of this truth.

In the more than 50 years since its passage, the Fair Housing Act has helped fight discrimination in mortgage lending, zoning restrictions that prevent people from being able to choose where to live, and local landlord abuses. In 1973, the United States government used it to charge Fred Trump and his son, our current president, with housing discrimination. Rather than fight those charges, the Trumps signed a consent decree requiring changes to the way they managed their properties. The Fair Housing Act was the only backstop for the people the Trump family discriminated against, and now the Trump administration is seeking to gut its protections.

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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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