Leveraging Data to Improve Racial Equity in Fair Housing

This post first appeared on IBM Business of Government. Read the original article.

Over the past 60 years, obstacles to homeownership have limited the ability of Black Americans and other communities of color to create wealth, and have had negative impacts on health and well-being.

Residential segregation is related to
inequalities in education, job opportunities, political power, access to credit,
access to health care, and more. Steering, redlining, mortgage lending
discrimination, and other historic policies have all played a role in creating this
state of affairs.

Over time, federal efforts including the Fair Housing Act and Home Mortgage
Disclosure Act have been designed to improve housing equity in the United
States. While these laws have not been entirely effective, they have made new
kinds of data available—data that can shed light on some of the historic drivers
of housing inequity and help inform tailored solutions to their ongoing impact.

This report explores a number of current opportunities to strengthen longstanding
data-driven tools to address housing equity. The report also shows how the
effects of mortgage lending discrimination and other historic practices are still
being felt today. At the same time, it outlines opportunities to apply data to
increase equity in many areas related to the homeownership gap, including
negative impacts on health and well-being, socioeconomic disparities, and
housing insecurity.

This brief builds on the IBM Center’s recent work addressing how public
administration can promote equity, which is one of the Center’s priority research
areas. It is the second in a series of projects on Open Data for Racial Equity
conducted in partnership with CODE. The first report in that series, Using Data to
Advance Racial Equity in Healthcare
, was published in August 2022.

We hope that this report provides helpful perspectives for government leaders and their stakeholders in
designing effective strategies and programs that promote more equitable access to fair housing for
all Americans.

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