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The Times and Democrat: First Citizens to aid low-income communities

The Times and Democrat, March 19, 2021, First Citizens to aid low-income communities 

First Citizens Bank announced a $16 billion community benefits plan — developed in collaboration with the National Community Reinvestment Coalition — that builds on its work to reinvest in low- and moderate-income communities and neighborhoods of color.

Under the plan, First Citizens Bank would support lending and investing in the areas of affordable housing, small business and community development over a five-year period from 2021-25, following completion of the proposed merger of First Citizens BancShares, Inc. (“First Citizens”), the parent company of First Citizens Bank, and CIT Group Inc. (“CIT”).

First Citizens participated in virtual listening sessions late last year with national and state members of NCRC, an association of more than 600 community-based organizations that promote access to basic banking services, affordable housing, entrepreneurship, job creation and vibrant communities for America’s working families. The plan is a direct result of input received from those meetings and was formed in conjunction with the NCRC and its member organizations.

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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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