WESA: Residents of Historically Redlined Neighborhoods May Experience More COVID-19 Risk Factors

WESA, September 23, 2020: Residents of Historically Redlined Neighborhoods May Experience More COVID-19 Risk Factors

The global pandemic shows that those who live in redlined communities have and continue to suffer from poorer health conditions, and these health conditions could raise their chances of death from COVID-19.

Low-income and minority communities were cut off from lending and investment for decades through redlining. According to the first national-level study of the health consequences of redlining in more than 140 urban areas, including Pittsburgh, residents of those neighborhoods are still experiencing the negative health impacts of those policies…

…People living in redlined neighborhoods today experience shorter life expectancies and poorer health than neighboring communities that weren’t redlined.

Those in these historically discriminated neighborhoods are also at a greater risk for pre-existing conditions like asthma, diabetes, and hypertension, which can heighten “risk of morbidity in COVID-19 patients.”

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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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