National Fair Housing Alliance, Zillow Release Joint Research on Lingering Housing Inequality


June 23, 2021

Media Contact: Izzy Woodruff | 202-898-1661 | IWoodruff@nationalfairhousing.org

National Fair Housing Alliance, Zillow Release Joint Research on Lingering Housing Inequality

Research Shows Where You Live Matters and Lower Access to Amenities for Communities of Color

Washington, D.C. — Today, the National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA), as part of its Keys Unlock Dreams Initiative, released a blockbuster report in partnership with Zillow that details how communities of color in 10 metro areas in the U.S. have access to fewer traditional amenities than largely white neighborhoods. The research, based on data from Yelp, found that communities of color disproportionately lack access to traditional financial outlets, health services, and fitness facilities when compared to communities that are majority white. The stark disparities reflect the ongoing challenge of ensuring equal opportunity across racial lines when the distribution of basic resources remains unequal. 

“This report crystalizes the daily experiences of unequal treatment and lack of access that communities of color continue to face,” said Lisa Rice, President and CEO of NFHA. “The research shows that housing and opportunity are inextricably linked. We hope this serves as a call to action for our cities — where you live should not affect your access to the building blocks of a healthy, prosperous life.” 

The 10 metro areas analyzed include Atlanta, Baltimore, Columbus, Detroit, Houston, Memphis, New Orleans, Oakland, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. In these metro areas, majority-white neighborhoods were found to have better access to traditional financial services (e.g., banks, credit unions, mortgage lenders). The lack of traditional financial institutions in Black and Latinx neighborhoods means residents are more likely to use alternative financial options nearby (e.g., payday lenders, pawn shops), which often charge high interest rates or offer onerous repayment terms. This inequitable distribution of financial services has a detrimental effect on Black and Latinx wealth-building and homeownership. 

When it comes to access to basic health services, like doctors’ offices, hospitals and pharmacies, the gulf between white communities and communities of color is exceptionally wide. In both Detroit and Oakland, there are 93 percent fewer health service businesses in Latinx neighborhoods than in white neighborhoods. The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the importance of proximity to healthcare, especially as communities of color continue to contract COVID-19 at higher rates, experience higher instances of mortality from the virus, and receive lower levels of vaccination than white communities.

There is also a significant disparity in the distribution of fitness amenities in white and nonwhite areas. In Philadelphia, for example, majority-Latinx neighborhoods have 90 percent fewer fitness and outdoor amenities than white neighborhoods, and Black neighborhoods have 75 percent fewer fitness amenities compared to majority white neighborhoods. 

The research was conducted as part of a nationwide initiative led by NFHA, which is dedicated to increasing the homeownership rate for communities of color and millennials, while simultaneously closing the racial wealth gap.


About NFHA

The National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA) is the country’s only national civil rights organization dedicated solely to eliminating all forms of housing and lending discrimination and ensuring equal opportunities for all people. Through its homeownership, credit access, tech equity, education, member services, public policy, community development, and enforcement initiatives, NFHA works to dismantle longstanding barriers to equity and build diverse, inclusive, well-resourced communities.

About the Keys Unlock Dreams Initiative

The Keys Unlock Dreams Initiative (KUDI) is a nationwide push to increase homeownership for millennials and communities of color and close the racial wealth gap. Spearheaded by the National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA), KUDI strives to unlock and demystify the American dream of owning a homeKUDI is focused on 10 cities: Atlanta, Baltimore, Columbus, Detroit, Houston, Memphis, New Orleans, Oakland, Philadelphia, and Washington DC. For over 30 years, the National Fair Housing Alliance has vigorously executed its mission to eliminate housing discrimination and ensure equal housing opportunity for all by partnering with more than 200 private, non-profit housing organizations, state and local civil rights agencies and individuals.