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The Philadelphia Tribune: JPMorgan is Calling for Reforms to Stop Racial Bias in Housing

The Philadelphia Tribune, July 13, 2021, JPMorgan is Calling for Reforms to Stop Racial Bias in Housing

JPMorgan Chase is throwing its considerable weight behind efforts to root out racial bias in the appraisal of homes in America.

As part of a new bank-wide commitment to fight housing inequality, JPMorgan is for the first time outlining specific legislation that can fight appraisal bias, backing the study of innovative ways to value homes and promoting efforts to boost sorely needed diversity in the appraisal industry.

Beyond appraisals, America’s biggest bank is promising to ease obstacles that make it harder for Black and Latinx households to buy homes, build wealth and access affordable housing.

“There are systematic barriers in housing — and we have a role to play in addressing them,” Heather Higginbottom, president of the JPMorgan Chase Policy Center and co-head of global philanthropy, told CNN Business.

That effort is highlighted by a new five-year $400 million philanthropic commitment that includes low-cost loans, equity and grants to nonprofits and affordable housing organizations. It’s part of a broader $30 billion pledge announced last October to ease racial inequality.

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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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