The Washington Post: The housing market faces its next crisis as May rent and mortgages come due

The Washington Post, May 3, 2020: The housing market faces its next crisis as May rent and mortgages come due

Millions of homeowners and renters already are behind on payments in the economic collapse, and the jobless ranks are growing.

This crisis will stand out from the Great Recession a decade ago for its speed and reach, industry officials say. During the global financial crisis, the pain was focused largely on borrowers with shoddy mortgages or overvalued homes and unfolded over several years, housing experts say. This time, the pain will be felt more broadly, particularly among renters who are more likely to have the service sector and hospitality jobs most affected by the crisis. It potentially will take months, not years, to surpass the number of homeowners in distress there were a decade ago.

“The last foreclosure crisis was a slow-moving train; the impact in terms of people was over the course of several years,” said Jesse Van Tol, chief executive of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition, a research and advocacy coalition of 600 community organizations. “Whereas the current moment, it’s all happening pretty quickly, 25 million, 30 million unemployed in a manner of a few weeks.”

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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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