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WPR News: Wisconsin’s minimum wage workers locked out of affordable housing

WPR News, July 16, 2019: Wisconsin’s minimum wage workers locked out of affordable housing

Wisconsin is in the midst of an affordable housing crisis, so much so that someone earning the minimum wage can’t afford a basic two-bedroom apartment anywhere in the state.

Wisconsin’s minimum wage is $7.25, whereas the housing wage — the cost for comfortably affording a home — is $16.77 an hour, on average, for a two-bedroom apartment. That number increases to $17.65 in Milwaukee County and $21.02 in Dane County.

As part of an effort to renew discussions about affordable housing, the Wisconsin Partnership for Housing Development will participate in A Home for Everyone 2019, a two-day conference in Eau Claire that will look at the host of issues housing instability can lead to.

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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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