Washington Post: Housing vouchers mostly move families into impoverished neighborhoods, even when better apartments exist elsewhere

Washington Post, January 3, 2019: Housing vouchers mostly move families into impoverished neighborhoods, even when better apartments exist elsewhere

Your neighborhood determines the quality of your children’s schools and your access to jobs, transportation, even fresh food.

But a new study found that in nearly all 50 of America’s biggest metropolitan areas, low-income families using federal housing vouchers remain overly concentrated in impoverished, racially segregated neighborhoods with little opportunity — even with plenty of affordable apartments available in higher income neighborhoods.

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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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