Urban Wire: Goal Setting and Data Benchmarking Can Help Narrow the Racial Homeownership Gap

Urban Wire, June 18, 2021, Goal Setting and Data Benchmarking Can Help Narrow the Racial Homeownership Gap

Even with more Americans tackling systemic racism, including the Biden administration making racial equity a priority, the homeownership gap between Black and white Americans continues to grow, widening the racial wealth gap and other economic disparities. At all income levels, white households have a higher overall homeownership rate than Black households, and similar disparities exist when accounting for education. Black households that have a bachelor’s degree or an advanced degree are less likely to own their own home than a white household that lacks a high school diploma. Structural barriers may limit the benefits of education for Black graduates, who bear higher debt burdens, which may also affect homeownership. Even though overtly racist lending practices have been made illegal, their legacies persist in housing, contributing to a growing modern-day disparity.

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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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