A Neighborhood’s Racial Makeup Impacts Home Values More Now Than In 1980

The race home appraisal gap has doubled since 1980, according to a new study published in the sociological journal Social Problems.

Although fair housing laws passed in the U.S. during the 1960s and ’70s were intended to equalize the housing market and free Black homebuyers from a city’s most undesirable neighborhoods, a new study published in the sociological journal Social Problems shows that the disparity in appraised values between homes in majority-white and majority-non-white neighborhoods has increased significantly since those laws were passed.

The study’s authors, University of Pittsburgh sociologist Junia Howell and University of New Mexico sociologist Elizabeth Korver-Glenn, write that past discriminatory practices in real estate like redlining are not solely responsible for the disparity in appraised home values. Rather, the study’s findings revealed that standard modern appraisal practices that have been enacted since the Community Reinvestment Act of 1977 was passed have continued to impact how homes

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Homes are flooding outside FEMA’s 100-year flood zones, and racial inequality is showing through

When hurricanes and other extreme storms unleash downpours like Tropical Storm Beta has been doing in the South, the floodwater doesn’t always stay within the government’s flood risk zones.



a bridge over a body of water: Cars get stranded on high flood waters on Houston Ave. exit from interstate 45 during Tropical Storm Beta Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2020, in Houston.


© Marie D. De Jesús, Houston Chronicle / Staff Photographer

Cars get stranded on high flood waters on Houston Ave. exit from interstate 45 during Tropical Storm Beta Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2020, in Houston.


New research suggests that nearly twice as many properties are at risk from a 100-year flood today than the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s flood maps indicate.

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Unfortunately, many of the people living in those properties have no idea that their homes are at risk until the floodwaters rise.

I am a sociologist who works on disaster vulnerability. In a new study, I looked at the makeup of communities in Houston that aren’t in the 100-year flood zone, but that still flood. What I found tells

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Homes are flooding outside FEMA’s 100-year flood zones, and racial inequality is showing through

(The Conversation is an independent and nonprofit source of news, analysis and commentary from academic experts.)

Kevin T. Smiley, Louisiana State University

(THE CONVERSATION) When hurricanes and other extreme storms unleash downpours like Tropical Storm Beta has been doing in the South, the floodwater doesn’t always stay within the government’s flood risk zones.

New research suggests that nearly twice as many properties are at risk from a 100-year flood today than the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s flood maps indicate.

Unfortunately, many of the people living in those properties have no idea that their homes are at risk until the floodwaters rise.

I am a sociologist who works on disaster vulnerability. In a new study, I looked at the makeup of communities in Houston that aren’t in the 100-year flood zone, but that still flood. What I found tells a story of racial disparities in the city. Research in other cities

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