Disadvantages Magnified by Pandemic, Ong Says

UCLA Center for Neighborhood Knowledge Director Paul Ong was featured in a USA Today article about the disproportionate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Black families. Black people are more than twice as likely to rent as white people, eliminating the safety net that comes with owning a home. Furthermore, Black renters are more likely to be low-income and cost burdened, the article noted. The pandemic exacerbated existing inequalities due to racial discrimination and historic inequities in education, employment and housing. “The pre-pandemic disadvantages that were there already – paying a higher share of one’s income to afford housing, having a much more precarious economic standing, not having the same financial fallback with huge differences in wealth and assets – those disadvantages during the pandemic got magnified,” Ong explained. “During the pandemic, our research and other people’s research clearly shows that African Americans were displaced at a much higher rate.”

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