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The Foundation for a Healthy High Point has released a new study highlighting summary data on health and economic disparities. The study shares new recommendations to help alleviate social and financial hardship issues across the Greater High Point community.

A new report compiled by the UNCG Center for Housing and Community Studies and the National Institute of Minority Economic Development’s The Research, Policy and Impact Center goes beyond health and medical needs to identify the specific socioeconomic conditions which continue to impact residents across the Foundation’s service area negatively.

The report underscores that in some High Point neighborhoods, resource inequality and structural impediments are directly linked to poor community health outcomes such as chronic lifestyle diseases like diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease; respiratory issues like asthma and COPD; and poor self-reported mental health.

Dr. Stephen J. Sills, who led the research, states, “I found many citizen groups, nonprofit organizations, and other agencies committed to making the city a better and healthier place to live. It is well recognized that High Point’s diversity is its strength and that there has been recent momentum in economic development and growth, affording more resources and assets to the community. However, it will take the efforts of all sectors to fully address the social drivers of health in High Point.

Using community surveys, focus groups, and one-on-one interviews, participating residents shared their personal experiences, including positive attributes and barriers to accessing key needs, like healthcare, transportation, and food. Using this approach, the findings offer a fresh look at our community’s needs, capturing how community members live, work, engage, and access services on a day-to-day basis and outlining the opportunities for our medical and nonprofit entities, municipalities, funders, and other agencies to work together to improve our overall community health.

“It is eye-opening to hear firsthand stories of continued disparities from community members,” states Curtis Holloman, executive director of the Foundation. “These neighborhood-based feedback sessions provided details around the upstream issues causing the downstream problems, yet this information offers great hope. As funders, service providers, employers, and neighbors, we know precisely where we need to work harder to create a community where all can thrive.”

The findings from this study serve as another source for our community partners and other stakeholders to use as a reference and will help to prioritize the Foundation’s community investments going forward.

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Current & Proposed Efforts for Improving African American Homeownership

Rather than narrowing, the gap in homeownership rates by race has grown steadily over the last century. In 1900, the gap between white and Black homeownership was 27.6%, that gap has not improved in the last 121 years with U.S. Census Bureau data from April 2021 showing a 29.6% difference between white and Black homeowners. The difference in median wealth has been attributable almost entirely to homeownership and the passing of resources through inheritance. Shapiro (2006) explains that homeownership acts as a vehicle for savings and for growing capital over the life course: “Homeownership and housing appreciation are the foundation of institutional accumulation. Indeed, for most Americans, home equity represents the largest reservoir of wealth: home wealth accounts for 60% of the total wealth among America’s middle class.”

The Research, Policy, and Impact Center hosted a colloquium on the topic of increasing Black homeownership moderated by Dr. Stephen Sills. Our guest speakers included:

  • Sofia Crisp, Executive Director, Housing Consultants Group.
  • Jung Hyun Choi, Senior Research Associate, Housing Finance Policy Center, Urban Institute.
  • Lauren Lowery, Director, Housing & Community Development, National League of Cities.
  • Joshua Devine, Director of Racial Economic Equity, National Community Reinvestment Coalition.
  • Michael Wallace, Vice President, Business Account Management Solutions, Fannie Mae.
  • Sam Gunter, Executive Director, NC Housing Coalition.

Please watch the recording of this discussion at:

Additional materials: