Private real estate investors favor rich, mostly white Chicago neighborhoods: report

The Urban Institute found white neighborhoods saw nearly 5 times as much private investment as black neighborhoods from 2011 to 2017
May 23, 2019 11:00AM

(Credit: iStock)

(Credit: iStock)

Private real estate investments are flooding into wealthy, mostly white neighborhoods, while public and nonprofit dollars overwhelmingly support African-American and Latino neighborhoods.

In a city where private capital dwarfs “mission-driven” investment by a nearly 16-to-1 margin, the result is a crushingly familiar pattern of racial segregation, according to new report from the Urban Institute cited in the Chicago Sun-Times.

The study, which was funded in part by JPMorgan Chase, found the city’s predominantly white neighborhoods see about 4.6 times more private investment per household than mostly black neighborhoods, and 2.6 times as much as mostly Latino neighborhoods. It counted dollars spent on loans, sales and construction of real assets across the city between 2011 and 2017.

During that six-year period, private real estate investments totaled $67 billion, compared to just $4 billion spent in public and “mission-driven” dollars. The latter was spent about 10 times as much in high poverty neighborhoods as wealthier ones, the report found.

During her inauguration speech Monday, Mayor Lori Lightfoot called for developers to build more affordable housing to help reverse population loss in the city’s majority-black neighborhoods. The next day, she announced she had chosen Metropolitan Planning Council executive Marisa Novara to lead the city’s Department of Housing.

[Chicago Sun-Times] — Alex Nitkin