Today, the Lexington Fair Housing Council is proud to release a new report, Mapping a Segregated City: The Growth of Racially/Ethnically Concentrated Poverty & Affluence in Lexington, 1970-2014. We feel that the report identifies several long-term trends in the city of Lexington regarding not only where affluence and poverty have become concentrated, but how those trends intersect with populations based on race and ethnicity. We hope that this report will not only be an awakening for many in our city as to how severely segregated Lexington has become with regard to class and race/ethnicity, but that it will also be a new tool with which city officials can use to address this deeply institutionalized problem.
For those who are interested in reading further about the issue of concentrated poverty and affluence within cities, the following resources should prove a fair starting point. The resources below will provide a macro-level view of concentrated poverty across the US to show that concentrated poverty is at an all-time high in the US, so we’re not just only talking about a local Lexington issue. Additionally, these resources help frame how we’re taking a more holistic approach to the issue of concentrated poverty because we’re looking at the issue through the context of increasing inequality and spatial segregation of the non-white poor and affluent whites. As the report from the Task Force on Poverty, Opportunity, and Upward Mobility rightly asserts, “A major obstacle to housing assistance recipients moving up the economic ladder is the lack of individual choice in housing programs and bureaucracies.” With this new report, the Lexington Fair Housing Council hopes that the overdue work to reinforce an individual’s choice in housing programs will be reinvigorated within city leadership.
Lost in Place: Why the persistence and spread of concentrated poverty–not gentrification–is our biggest urban challenge (City Observatory)
America’s Biggest Problem Is Concentrated Poverty, Not Inequality (CitiLab)
Where the White People Live (The Atlantic)
A Better Way: Our Vision for a Confident America (Task Force on Poverty, Opportunity, and Upward Mobility)