Elisabeth Risch and Jackie Hutchinson penned an OpEd article that was focused on the recent NCRC report that received both local and national press attention. The article ran in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and was also included in this month’s Community Builders Network newsletter.
The data and the maps in this report help to visualize what many of us already know and experience. Lending is concentrated in white areas and scarce in black neighborhoods. Certain neighborhoods have poor access to banking resources, and many households are unbanked or underbanked, particularly African-American households. In the entire St. Louis metropolitan area, median family income of the neighborhood is the best predictor of home loan activity. However, in the City of St. Louis, the racial composition of a neighborhood is also a strong predictor of mortgage activity. In hyper-segregated neighborhoods in which the population is over 75 percent black, less than one percent of homes received a home purchase loan in the 2012-2014 period. Most problematic: the lack of lending in high minority areas is not fully explained by income differences. Credit is still available to white neighborhoods with the same income level.