Neighborhoods focuses on place-based inequality, particularly on how the housing and transportation systems determine access to opportunity and resources
The eight indicators in this topic quantify racial disparities in neighborhoods, and suggest ways we can make progress toward equitable outcomes. Neighborhoods focuses on place-based inequality, particularly on how the housing and transportation systems determine access to opportunity and resources. Inequity in these areas compound, which leads to inequities in many other aspects of life, from health to wealth, for years to come.
Black residents in the City of St. Louis are more likely than white residents to live in low-opportunity environments. Black residents are more likely to live in areas of concentrated poverty and have longer commute times.
Residents of majority-black neighborhoods are more likely to live in neighborhoods suffering from disinvestment. Vacancy and illegal dumping are more prevalent in black neighborhoods. Banks originate fewer home loans to residents looking to buy and rehabilitate properties in black neighborhoods.
Residents of majority-black neighborhoods are less likely to have access to amenities than residents of majority-white neighborhoods. While the disparities are small, these are all important for the city to track as investments or changes in policy are made. Amenities studied included transit, healthy food, and parks.
For the Equity Indicators Project, the measures chosen focus on racial disparities. The indicators are reflective of the Ferguson Commission’s calls to action around housing and transportation, but not all calls to action related to housing and transportation are addressed within the scope of this project.
What is our equity score for this topic?
48.25 on a scale from 1 to 100. The higher the score on a scale from 1 to 100, the closer we are toward achieving equity.
Which Calls to Action from the Ferguson Commission report are reflected in this topic?
The Ferguson Commission priorities to address economic inequality related to neighborhoods include housing and transportation. Specific calls to action addressed in this report include:
- Enact Inclusionary Zoning Ordinances to promote access to affordable housing for low-income individuals.
- Identify Financial Empowerment Centers throughout the St. Louis region to concentrate financial services that provide community development banking and multigenerational financial education.
- Teach Financial Literacy to Section 8 Housing Beneficiaries so that they can become permanent homeowners.
- Strengthen the Community Reinvestment Act to help financial institutions meet the credit needs of their community, including vigorously enforcing Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) and fair housing laws in instances where lending discrimination is believed to exist.
- Stabilize Middle-Market Neighborhoods by developing a regional strategy that emphasizes the health and well being of existing residents.
- Build Safe Neighborhoods by supporting sustained, citizen-led efforts, particularly the efforts of parents and families impacted by violence, and clergy working to build community and keep watch.
- Identify Priority Transportation Projects for the St. Louis Region (e.g., extending MetroLink on the proposed North-South corridor, implementing Bus Rapid Transit) in order to elevate the importance of key projects for the region and make tangible the need and potential benefits of transit.
- Develop a State Supported Funding Plan for Public Transit in order to fill a significant funding deficit when seeking federal dollars for transit capital projects requiring matching funds.
- Promote Use of Public Transit as an alternative to commuting or exploring the region.
- Create a Discounted Youth Transit Pass (through age 25) to get to services and jobs, regardless of whether or not the youth is in school or employed.
- Prioritize Transit-Oriented Development through changes in zoning, financial incentives for developers, and transit benefits for residents of developments.
- Establish School-Based Health Centers, particularly to help impact broader school health including health literacy, healthy eating, and promotion of healthy activity for children and youth.
- Broadly Apply a Racial Equity Framework to existing and new regional policies, initiatives, programs, and projects in order to address and eliminate existing disparities for racial and ethnic populations.
What institutions and organizations were assessed?
The institutions assessed in this topic include mortgage lending institutions and our regional transit agency, Metro St. Louis.
Where did the data come from?
The data used in this topic comes from the American Community Survey, the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act, the City of St. Louis, Bi-State Development Agency, East-West Gateway, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), and The Trust for Public Land.
What stakeholders were consulted?
The stakeholders consulted include Bi-State Development Agency, the City of St. Louis Planning Department, East-West Gateway, Missouri Coalition for the Environment, St. Louis Vacancy Collaborative, and Team TIF. Special thanks go to Andrew Arkills of Team TIF for collaborating on the analysis of Citizen Service Bureau data, which was used to develop the Illegal Dumping metric. We worked closely with Planning Division staff at Bi-State and consulted with transit researchers at TransitMatters and the Boston Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority to develop the Transit Frequency metric.
What metrics are missing and why?
Unlike some other topics, the Neighborhoods topic had many potential metrics that were appropriate and available for a racial disparity analysis. Metrics that were considered but were not incorporated due to space considerations include neighborhood crime rates1, concentration of subsidized housing, housing conditions, and access to services such as banks and accredited childcare.
Desirable indicators for which we do not yet have reliable data include sidewalk quality, bikeability, and access to thriving business districts. Trailnet conducts an annual Pedestrian and Bicyclist Census.
1 Crime is addressed in this report as part of the Violent Crime Victimization indicator in the Health and Safety topic.
Neighborhoods Equity Indicators
|1||N1: Concentrated Poverty
Black residents are more than three times more likely than white residents to live in areas of concentrated poverty.
|2||N2: Home Loan Originations
There are nearly eight times as many home loan originations per capita in majority-white census tracts as in majority-black census tracts.
There are more than nine times as many acres of vacant land and buildings in majority-black census tracts as in majority-white census tracts.
|4||N4: Illegal Dumping
Residents of majority-black neighborhoods report illegal dumping nearly four times more often than residents of majority-white neighborhoods.
|5||N5: Commuting Time
Black workers have a 22% longer mean commute time than white workers.
|6||N6: Transit Frequency
Residents of majority-black and majority-white census tracts have similar frequency of transit service.
|7||N7: Access to Healthy Food
Black residents are nearly twice as likely as white residents to live in census tracts with low access to healthy food.
|8||N8: Access to Parks
White and black residents are almost equally likely to live within a 10-minute walk of a park.
|2018 Equity Score||48.25|