What Does It Mean and How Did We Get Here?


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What Does It Mean and How Did We Get Here?

  1. 1. THE GEOGRAPHY OF OPPORTUNITY IN MASSACHUSETTS What Does It Mean and How Did We Get Here? February 26, 2009 Harvard Law School Cambridge, MA Andrew Grant-Thomas Deputy Director The Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race & Ethnicity The Ohio State University Grant-Thomas.1@osu.edu Presented by The Boston Lawyer Chapter of the American Constitution Society and the Racial Justice Program of the American Civil Liberties Union
  2. 2. Comprehensive Opportunity Map: Greater Boston Winchester English
  3. 3. Section 3 Two Schools, Two Sets of Opportunity English High School <ul><li>Neighborhoods: Families w/ Kids in Poverty 24% </li></ul><ul><li>Schools: Math Proficiency Rate 37% </li></ul><ul><li>Schools: Reading Proficiency Rate 31% </li></ul><ul><li>Schools: Economically Disadvantaged Students 69% </li></ul><ul><li>96% Non-White </li></ul>Winchester High School <ul><li>Neighborhood: Families w/ Kids in Poverty 4% </li></ul><ul><li>Schools: Math Proficiency Rate 96% </li></ul><ul><li>Schools: Reading Proficiency Rate 96% </li></ul><ul><li>Schools: Economically Disadvantaged Students 1.6% </li></ul><ul><li>5% of students Non-White </li></ul>
  4. 4. Access to Opportunity: Race
  5. 5. Whoa!
  6. 6. Three Big WHY’s <ul><li>Why racial segregation? </li></ul><ul><li>Why segregation of opportunity? </li></ul><ul><li>Why the correspondence between racial and opportunity segregation? </li></ul>Section 1
  7. 7. 1. Is It about Racial Differences in Income? <ul><ul><li>2006: White households had a median income of $51,700; Black households, $32,100. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>BUT affordability alone does a poor job in explaining segregation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>in 80% of the metro’s cities and towns, African-American and Latino homebuyers are purchasing at less than half the rate we would expect based on affordability alone. </li></ul></ul>Source: David J. Harris and Nancy McArdle, More than Money: The Spatial Mismatch Between Where Homeowners of Color in Metro Boston Can Afford to Live and Where They Actually Reside
  8. 8. 2. Differences in Racial “Tastes” for Residential Diversity (Preferences)? <ul><li>Blacks and Hispanics most prefer neighborhoods that are fully integrated, with a 50-50 ratio of whites to their own racial or ethnic </li></ul><ul><li>In contrast, whites’ preferences for integration wane as integration approaches the 50-50 ratio. </li></ul><ul><li>White support for Hispanic integration is comparatively strong </li></ul><ul><li>White support for integration declines sharply as the black population approaches 30 percent, and more precipitously as neighborhoods become fully integrated with blacks. </li></ul>Source: Tara D. Jackson, The Imprint of Preferences and Racial Attitudes in the 1990s: A Window into Contemporary Residential Segregation Patterns in the Greater Boston Area
  9. 9. What Drives Fears of Greater Diversity? <ul><li>For African Americans </li></ul><ul><ul><li>History of racial antagonism and conflict </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Not mainly about strong allegiance to black neighborhoods </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Or about wanting kids to go to “black schools” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>For Whites </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Traditional racial prejudices and a desire to isolate themselves from Blacks? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Because of negative associations —crime and poor schools—with neighborhoods where Blacks live? </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. 3. Is It about Housing Market Discrimination? <ul><li>2005-6: Banks and mortgage offices. Home buyers of color disadvantaged in nine of the twenty matched paired tests conducted (45%) </li></ul>Fair Housing Center of Greater Boston Testing <ul><li>2004-5: Real estate offices of large chain realtors in 14 cities and towns across the greater Boston region. Differences in treatment disadvantaged homebuyers of color in 17 of the 36 tests (47%) </li></ul><ul><li>2001: Greater Boston rental market. Families with children, African-Americans and Section 8 subsidy holders all discriminated against in at least half of their attempts to find housing. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Discrimination in Greater Boston: Mortgage Lending <ul><li>An African American tester with a good credit score of 670 visited a bank to inquire about a mortgage. She was told that the closing fee would be $8,000 to $9,000, although other tests in this investigation indicated that average closing fee was $2,000-$3,000. The bank representative also told her that her credit score of 670 was below average; other tests indicated that credit score of 670 was well above average. Finally, the bank representative told her that the bank usually dealt with commercial lending, and did not really provide residential mortgages. In contrast, the white tester with a credit score of 640 who visited the same bank was told by two different loan officers that the bank provided home mortgage loans, and was not told that her credit score was below average. </li></ul>
  12. 12. Discrimination in Greater Boston: Mortgage Lending <ul><li>A Latino tester with a credit score of 670 and a white tester with a credit score of 640 visited a mortgage lending company. The lender provided both with quotes on monthly payments, and the Latino loan seeker’s quote was $254 per month more than the white loan seeker’s quote for a 30 year fixed loan, and $140 per month more for a blended loan. The lender also told the Latino loan seeker that she would need private mortgage insurance (PMI), which would cost $309 per month. The lender did not bring up PMI to the white loan seeker. The lender did tell the white loan seeker about how to get a better loan product when your credit score is under 680, but did not discuss this with the Latino loan seeker, whose score was also below 680. Finally, the white loan seeker was given informational literature about different loan products and loan process, and received a follow up email from the lender. The Latino loan seeker did not receive any literature or follow up email. </li></ul>
  13. 13. 4. Role of Federal, State and Local Policies Esp. in Creating/Maintaining Homogeneous Suburbs Source: Mumford Center
  14. 14. Public Schools Become More White, Less Black/Latino with Distance from the City Enrollment and Racial Composition of Public Schools by Location and Race, 2001-02 Source: Chungmei Lee, “ Racial Segregation and Educational Outcomes in Metro Boston” 100 5 10 9 76 Total Enrollment 59 3 3 2 91 Outer Suburbs 11 9 4 5 82 Inner Suburbs 13 9 28 8 55 Outer Satellite Cities 9 8 22 22 47 Inner Satellite Cities 8 9 28 47 15 City of Boston Regional Share of Total Enrollment (%) Asian (%) Latino (%) Black (%) White (%)
  15. 15. Route 128: Boston’s Road to Segregation* *Report by MA Commission Against Discrimination and the MA Advisory Committee to the US Commission on Civil Rights <ul><li>Routes 128, 495  massive suburbanization “The Federal Government Funds Exclusion” (e.g., 1974 Housing & Community Development Act) “Suburban Public Officials Often Act to Bar Equal Opportunity” Exclusionary Zoning and Multi-Family Restrictions “The New England Town Structure Is an Obstacle to Equal Opportunity” </li></ul>
  16. 16. Why is This History Important? <ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Because a number of the same mechanisms remain in place </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Because “initial conditions” matter </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Whites in metro Boston similarly express openness toward some level of integration. About 78% of whites report that they would remain in a formerly all white neighborhood that becomes 50 percent black or Latino. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Almost half (48%) of whites say they would be willing to move into a neighborhood that is half Latino, and 42% say they would be willing to move into a neighborhood that is half black. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>Source: Tara D. Jackson, The Imprint of Preferences and Racial Attitudes in the 1990s: A Window into Contemporary Residential Segregation Patterns in the Greater Boston Area
  17. 17. To access this report and other resources please visit us on-line at: www.kirwaninstitute.org