New Study Explores Connections between Housing Discrimination and Food Access

A study published in the journal Spatial and Spatio-temporal Epidemiology investigates whether housing discrimination in Baltimore, MD, has led to inequitable food access. Among its findings, the study suggests that blockbusting, redlining, and gentrification each had different effects on food access in Baltimore. Blockbusting, for example, was found to be associated with greater barriers to food access, while redlining and gentrification were found to be associated with better food access. This impact on formerly redlined neighborhoods is attributed to redevelopment and gentrification. The study also finds that white neighborhoods have greater food access.

“Research shows the legacy of housing discrimination influences not only where people of color live, but also investments in neighborhood food systems, such as supermarkets,” write the study’s authors. “This pattern – sometimes called supermarket redlining – hinders access to healthy food options and perpetuates inequitable health outcomes.”

The study’s authors encourage policymakers, housing developers, food and health equity advocates, and urban planners to coordinate their efforts more closely to bring about more equitable solutions.

Read the study here.

Read a summary of the study here.