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The devaluation of assets in Black neighborhoods: The case of commercial property

In 2019, a Black real estate developer named Brian Rice tried to get a loan to renovate some buildings he purchased on a neighborhood commercial corridor in the majority-Black Ensley neighborhood of Birmingham, Ala. His vision was to turn these vacant buildings into small businesses, offices for nonprofits, and a conference center. But the bank’s appraisers said that his properties were basically worthless, leaving Rice with a large gap between the value he believed could be realized with investment and the value given to him.

Brookings Institution

Photo by Neal E. Johnson on Unsplash

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