'The Black Butterfly': Racial Segregation and Investment Patterns in Baltimore

'The Black Butterfly': Racial Segregation and Investment Patterns in Baltimore

In Baltimore, predominantly white neighborhoods receive nearly four times the investment that majority African-American neighborhoods receive, a report from the Urban Institute finds. Funded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the report, 'The Black Butterfly': Racial Segregation and Investment Patterns in Baltimore, found that the legacy of discriminatory polices, including racial housing covenants and redlining practices, has resulted in segregated black communities receiving a quarter of the capital flows per household as do communities that are less than 50 percent black, while high-poverty neighborhoods receive two-thirds of the investment per household as do low-poverty neighborhoods. For instance, the average loan amount per owner-occupied housing unit in predominantly white neighborhoods was $160,448, compared with $68,133 in predominantly African-American neighborhoods; commercial loans per household averaged $41,053 in white neighborhoods and $8,085 in African-American neighborhoods; and small-business lending per household averaged $11,442 in white neighborhoods and $2,336 in African-American neighborhoods. While public funding and mission lending were more evenly distributed and more prevalent in high-poverty areas and areas with high concentrations of African Americans than private investment, they represent only a fraction of overall investment in the city, the report's authors note, adding that a redoubled public and philanthropic commitment is needed to expand the footprint of community development financial institutions and efforts like the Neighborhood Impact Investment Fund to rectify the situation.

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