Building Communities of Opportunity in Massachusetts
THE GEOGRAPHY OF OPPORTUNITY Building Communities of Opportunity in Massachusetts February 26, 2009 Harvard Law School Cambridge, MA Jason Reece, AICP Senior Researcher The Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race & Ethnicity The Ohio State University Reece.firstname.lastname@example.orgPresented by The Boston Lawyer Chapter of the American ConstitutionSociety and the Racial Justice Program of the American Civil Liberties Union
Section 1Introduction Background on this project Origins (SR symposium) KI mapping and legal services Today’s discussion Opportunity matters Mapping opportunity Why and how… Opportunity mapping in MA Results The intersection of opportunity race and class Opportunity, housing and the foreclosure crisis
Section 2Opportunity Matters: Space, Place, and LifeOutcomes “Opportunity” is a situation or condition that places individuals in a position to be more likely to succeed or excel. Opportunity structures are critical to opening pathways to success: High-quality education Healthy and safe environment Stable housing Sustainable employment Political empowerment Outlets for wealth-building Positive social networks
Opportunity Matters: Neighborhoods & Access to Opportunity Five decades of research indicate that your environment has a profound impact on your access to opportunity and likelihood of success High poverty areas with poor employment, underperforming schools, distressed housing and public health/safety risks depress life outcomes A system of disadvantage Many manifestations Urban, rural, suburban People of color are far more likely to live in opportunity deprived neighborhoods and communities 4
Which community would you choose?To be safe and have positive health outcomes? For your kids to receive a qualityeducation? Which community would be better for employment and have a moresustainable tax base?
What are the implications ofopportunity isolation? Individual Poor economic outcomes, lower educational outcomes, degraded asset development Poor health conditions, higher exposure and risk from crime Psychological distress, weak social and professional networks Community/Economy High social costs, distressed and stressed communities, fiscal challenges Weakened civic engagement and democratic participation Underdeveloped human capital, poor labor outlook, poor economic development prospects
Section 3Mapping Opportunity: Why and HowInequality has a geographic footprintMaps can visually track the history and presence of discriminatory and exclusionary policies that spatially segregate peopleIdentifying places with gaps in opportunity can help direct future investment and identify structures which impede access to opportunity
Mapping Opportunity: Why and How The Kirwan Institute has conducted “opportunity mapping” for states and metropolitan regions across the US Why identify the “State of Opportunity” How are low-income groups situated in the State? How are racial and ethnic groups situated? What can be done to improve the opportunity landscape?
Opportunity Mapping in Litigation:Thompson v. HUD (RemedialProposal) Submitted expert reports in both the liability and the remedy phases of the litigation, on behalf of plaintiffs Used GIS to analyze current conditions of segregated public housing (liability phase) and frame solutions for desegregation (remedy phase) in a regional context
Mapping Communities of Opportunity: Methodsand Indicators How do you map opportunity? Data representing community conditions was gathered for neighborhood (census tracts) across the state Data for all indicators of community conditions was aggregated to the Census Tract level and analyzed to create a comprehensive opportunity index for the census tracts (neighborhoods) throughout the state The opportunity index is then mapped and census tracts are broken into quintiles based on their opportunity score Very Low, Low, Moderate, High, Very High
Mapping Communities of Opportunity: Methods and Indicators Three areas of opportunity were analyzed using GIS mapping capability: Education Quality and Opportunity Economic Health and Transportation Neighborhood Stability and Health
Opportunity Mapping Education Quality and Opportunity Student Expenditures Student Poverty Rate Test Scores for Schools Graduation and Dropout Rates Teacher Qualifications
Opportunity Mapping Economic Health and Transportation Unemployment Rates Population on Public Assistance Proximity to Employment Employment Change: 2000-2005 Mean Commute Time
Opportunity Mapping Neighborhood Stability and Health Home Values Neighborhood Vacancy Rates Crime Neighborhood Poverty Home Ownership Rate Proximity to Toxic Waste Sites Superfund Sites
Access to Opportunity:Race, Ethnicity, and Class Racialized isolation from neighborhoods of opportunity is stunning in Massachusetts Immigrants from Africa and Latin America were found to be disproportionately concentrated in low-opportunity neighborhoods Racial isolation into low-opportunity neighborhoods is more pronounced than class-based segregation into these communities
Access to Opportunity: Race Racialized isolation from neighborhoods of opportunity in Massachusetts: More than 90% of African-American and Latino households in were isolated in the lowest opportunity neighborhoods in the State Over 55% of Asian households were found in low- opportunity neighborhoods By contrast, only 31% of White, Non-Latino households were found in low-opportunity neighborhoods
Access to Opportunity: Immigrants Non-native born Africans and Latinos are disproportionately concentrated in low- opportunity neighborhoods: 42% of European-born and 46% of Asian-born residents live in low-opportunity neighborhoods By contrast, more 70% of non-native born African and Latin American residents live in low- opportunity neighborhoods
Access to Opportunity: Class Racial isolation into low-opportunity neighborhoods is more pronounced than class- based segregation into these communities 42% of low-income White households live in low- opportunity communities, while 33% live in high- opportunity community areas By contrast, more than 95% of low-income Latinos, 93% of low-income African-Americans, and 71% of low-income Asians live in low-opportunity communities Approximately 90% of high-income African-Americans and Latinos live in low-opportunity communities
Subsidized Housing and Communities ofOpportunity Housing is a strategic intervention point into opportunity and advancement However, 100,000 (nearly 76%) subsidized housing units in the State is in low-opportunity communities Only 17,000 units (roughly 12%) of subsidized housing are in high-opportunity communities
Residential Foreclosure and OpportunityOver half of the State’s estimated amount of high- cost HMDA loans, residential foreclosures, and 90-day residential foreclosures were located in low-opportunity neighborhoodsThis data shows the strong relationship between poor lending practices, foreclosure, and vacancy, all of which have been disproportionately concentrated in low- opportunity neighborhoods
Residential Foreclosure and OpportunityDistribution of Residential Factors Across the Community Opportunity Spectrum
Reflecting on these findings…. What does our analysis find and suggest? People of color are disproportionately concentrated in opportunity deprived communities Which places them within a system of disadvantage that ultimately impacts life outcomes Creating both an individual and societal tragedy Subsidized housing reinforces this opportunity isolation Foreclosures will widen the “opportunity divide” in the State of Massachusetts What are the implications of this challenge and how can we formulate a response? Opportunity based model of social justice and community development People, places and linkages
To access this report and other resources pleasevisit us on-line at: www.kirwaninstitute.org 41
A particular slide catching your eye?
Clipping is a handy way to collect important slides you want to go back to later.