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UGA Research Shows Effects of Unfair Housing Policies on Black Americans

According to the Centers for Disease Control, Black Americans are more likely to suffer from high blood pressure, heart disease, and other ailments, than their white counterparts. News research from the University of Georgia shows that these occurrences may be linked to discriminatory housing policies.

Dr. Rebecca Wells, from UGA's College of Public Health, is coauthor of the study, which took place over the summer of 2020.

"We started by outlining a timeline of different federal housing policies and different decisions by the court systems that have excluded Black Americans from many of the benefits enjoyed by white Americans, and these policies have really facilitated racial segregation of communities."

Wells says they considered case studies dealing with environmental harm…including the Flint lead water crisis. 

"In all 3 cases, there were some themes. There was a delayed response by government officials to address the environmental hazards. There was misinformation about those hazards presented to the communities that were being affected. There was weak enforcement of the regulations that did exist at the EPA (the Environmental Protection Agency), and then there were some inadequate solutions that were offered."

You can hear from our conversation with Dr. Wells on this week's edition of Athens News Matters.

Alexia Ridley joined WUGA as Television and Radio News Anchor and Reporter in 2013. When WUGA TV concluded operations, she became the primary Reporter for WUGA Radio. Alexia came to Athens from Macon where she served as the News Director and show host for WGXA TV. She's a career journalist and Savannah native hailing from the University of Michigan. However, Alexia considers herself an honorary UGA DAWG!