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National Mortgage News: Judging the past year’s success of racial equality housing initiatives

National Mortgage News, June 1, 2021, Judging the past year’s success of racial equality housing initiatives

Black homeownership programs don’t go beyond lip service without actionable and measurable objectives, Dedrick Asante-Muhammad, the National Community Reinvestment Coalition’s chief of membership, policy and equity, explained in an interview.

In the wake of George Floyd’s murder, companies and corporations released statements and launched initiatives focused on the country’s need for racial justice and equality. For the mortgage industry, it meant promising better representation, more Black executives and bridging the historically stagnant homeownership gap.

While building an increased knowledge base of financial literacy can be powerful, it’s hard to quantify success in that regard. National Community Reinvestment Coalition’s Asante-Muhammad argues that education programs have been around for decades and haven’t moved the needle. Mortgage products designed specifically for the median-income Black household would do more to grow the number of Black homeowners, he said.

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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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