Black Homes Are Flooding Due to Racist Policies

After Puerto Rico’s Earthquakes, Renal Patients Feel Mental Health Effects

When a magnitude 6.4 earthquake shook the southern and western regions of Puerto Rico in January of 2020, it didn’t just knock out power and communications. It also compromised medical care.

Damage in the wake of the 2020 Puerto Rico earthquakes. (Ana Umpierre/Direct Relief)

Hospitals and clinics closed. So did dialysis centers. For Puerto Rico’s kidney patients, who already experienced physical and psychological issues related to their medical conditions, the impact was catastrophic. Alexia Suárez, a clinical psychologist who was tasked with providing mental health services to dialysis patients after the earthquake, recalled a patient suffering from renal insufficiency who lived in a car with his brothers.

It’s just one scenario among many that complicate access to dialysis and other necessary treatments. Many providers had trouble tracking down patients who had been displaced to shelters and camps. Other patients had to be relocated to other treatment centers…

Black Homes Are Flooding Due to Racist Policies, Says Company Being Sued for Those Policies

A new study from the real estate company Redfin shows how racist housing policies have made Black neighborhoods more vulnerable to flooding than white ones. Meanwhile, Redfin is accused of helping keep those same neighborhoods segregated.

“That’s because racist housing policies helped push Black people into areas with denser and older housing, as well as fewer green spaces to absorb heavier rains due to climate change and poorer drainage systems.”

In major U.S. cities, Black and brown neighborhoods are exposed to higher levels of climate change flooding than white neighborhoods due to the racist legacy of redlining, says a company being sued in federal court for allegedly keeping that legacy alive.

Redlining was a 1930s-era housing policy whereby governments deliberately denied mortgages to people living in undesirable neighborhoods, which were typically non-white areas. These redlined neighborhoods now have $107 billion worth of homes at risk of severe water damage—25 percent higher than the largely white areas that weren’t affected by redlining, according to a new study released by the Seattle-based real estate brokerage Redfin…

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