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In the News

6.2.2022

Housing Equity

  1. A Memorial Day look at our veteran population (and a predatory lending practice that often targets its members): a new report from the National Consumer Law Center and other consumer advocacy groups makes clear, there are some very important ways in which current federal law allows veterans not just to be dishonored, but affirmatively targeted for exploitation.
  2. Vacant homes are rare in Triangle, across NC – and most are owned by investors: Some 1.1% of the nearly 3,490,000 residential properties in the state are vacant.  That’s 34,999 homes.  And the data set indicates that 30,802 of those homes are investor-owned.
  3. N.C. Office of Recovery and Resiliency to award additional $16 million in grants for eastern North Carolina public housing recovery: The economic support aims to increase the availability of safe, affordable housing in areas of the state that experienced unprecedented damage when hurricanes Matthew and Florence hit only two years apart. The funding announced today is in addition to more than $9.6 million NCORR previously committed to public housing projects in Wilson and Lumberton.
  4. How and why some districts provide affordable housing for teachers: “Housing is such a huge component, such a costly component for our employees to live here,” said Superintendent of Buncombe County Schools Tony Baldwin. The teacher housing is “a wonderful resource for us to have, especially bringing that quality young professional into our school systems.”
  5. Residential rent rate hikes concern Greensboro tenants, organizations trying to help: In March, the property management company notified Browne and other residents of British Lake Village apartments that monthly rent would rise June 1 from between $475 and $600 to $1,030.

Health Equity

  1. Republican-led Senate in NC gives preliminary approval to Medicaid expansion after years of fighting it:  Medicaid expansion would be good for the economy and rural health care. Up to 600,000 people who don’t now receive preventative care would be able to get it.
  2. Racism, Violence, COVID-19, and Public Health: COVID-19 and violence merge to form a syndemic that affects Black communities. High levels of stress and trauma may affect people’s ability to reduce their risk of COVID-19.
  3. Health care utilization improvements in urban minority youth tied to better asthma control: Researchers observed significant decreases for all outcomes from before and after the COVID-19 shutdown, with an average decrease of 76% for hospitalization rates, 69% for ED visits and 8% for oral steroid use. These decreases were associated with asthma control improvement.
  4. Inaccurate pulse ox readings may have delayed, prevented care among minority COVID-19 patients: Pulse oximeter measurements are less accurate among Black, Hispanic and Asian COVID-19 patients compared to white patients. These inaccuracies may have led to minority patients receiving delayed or no treatment, according to a study published May 31 in JAMA Internal Medicine.
  5. How U.S. Employers Can Support Women’s Health: Employers can take action today to combat these challenges. Investment in women’s health results in a healthier population overall. Companies that offer comprehensive support for women’s health have higher productivity, better retention of female employees, and most importantly, they help improve health outcomes for women.

Economic Development

  1. Rev. William Barber leads protest against Dollar General over treatment of workers at shareholders meeting: On Wednesday, labor advocacy groups, community leaders and Dollar General employees from several states—including North Carolina, Louisiana and Mississippi— met to protest the poor conditions many employees say they face while receiving less than livable wages. They were joined by Odessa Kelly, a candidate for U.S. Congress, and the Rev. William Barber, co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign.
  2. SBA announces five new Women’s Business Centers: The SBA recently announced the selection of five new Women’s Business Centers (WBC), which will be operated by Minority Serving Institutions (MSI). This includes the National Institute of Minority Economic Development, Inc. on behalf of Bennett College.
  3. US Bancorp : U.S. Bank unveils new roles to develop minority-owned businesses: Currently a pilot program, U.S. Bank Access Business is a collaborative approach between U.S. Bank business banking teams and partners in communities across the country to work alongside minority-owned businesses to address prominent gaps that limit business growth and employment opportunities. A signature component of Access Business is well underway with the hiring of nine new Business Access Advisors (BAA) who are strategically located across the country.
  4. Minority Business Pandemic Recovery Academy Launched: The Minority Business Pandemic Recovery Academy is a transformational six week executive education program in partnership with The University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC).  This Academy will assist minority business CEOs with techniques to use in fortifying and navigating their businesses in a post-pandemic economy. 
  5. Building Transportation Equity in the Car-Centric South: On the Road Lending provides credit assistance; access to fuel-efficient, reliable cars; and low-interest loans. At least 88% of their clients are considered vulnerable, 80% of loans are made to women, and over half are escaping gender-based violence. The nonprofit has its own CDFI loan fund, called OTR Fund I, LLC, to serve its clients. The program uses character-based lending instead of credit scores to evaluate risk and provide advising.

Educational & Equity

  1. “Parents’ Bill of Rights” passes N.C. Senate: In addition to barring inclusion of gender identity and sexual orientation in K-3 curricula, the bill would require that parents be notified if their child changes pronouns or name at school.
  2. New Hunt Higher Ed Issue Brief: Advancing Equity Through the Use of Disaggregated Data: Disaggregated student data allows institutions to see where specific inequalities exist more clearly, the magnitude of those inequalities, and a baseline against which to measure any initiatives. 
  3. Fostering Equity Between Race, Disability: Graduate student Baiyina Muhammad is involved in a delicate balancing act these days. With a full course load and work as a history professor at a nearby university, she’s juggling multiple responsibilities. As founder of the North Carolina Black Disabilities Network, she also recently organized its inaugural conference on race and disabilities, making her life, at times, more than a little hectic.
  4. New Report Shows College Degree Continues To Provide Better Employment Prospects And Higher Income: The latest report from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) on the status of education in the United States shows that individuals with a college degree continue to enjoy both better employment prospects and greater annual earnings than those with lesser levels of education.
  5. HBCUs, Industry Partners Launch Initiative To Diversify And Strengthen Cybersecurity Workforce: Together with industry partners Abbott, Microsoft and Raytheon Technologies, the HBCU Cybersecurity Industry Collaboration Initiative Pilot aims to build curriculum capacity within HBCU engineering schools, positioning them as premier national academic institutions for cybersecurity, while creating a strong workforce of students well-prepared for the world’s essential cybersecurity careers. The initiative expects to support HBCUs through curriculum development, research collaboration, faculty support and other resources.