Fifty Years After the Kerner Commission Report: Place, Housing, and Racial Wealth Inequality in Los Angeles

Fifty Years After the Kerner Commission Report: Place, Housing, and Racial Wealth Inequality in Los Angeles

Fifty years after the publication of the Kerner Commission report on urban unrest and fifty-three years after California’s McCone Commission report on the 1965 Watts riots, racial disparities in education, housing, employment, and wealth remain pervasive in Los Angeles, a report from , the , and the finds. Published in the , the report, , notes that neither commission recommended policies that would have supported wealth-building for African-American and Latino households in those communities such as ending discriminatory mortgage lending practices, curbing residential segregation, or increasing access to assets. As a result, efforts to address race-based wealth inequality, the report argues, must provide opportunities for asset development; ensure fair access to housing, credit, and financial services; ensure equal opportunity to well-paying jobs; bolster retirement incomes; promote access to education without burdensome debt; and provide access to health care while minimizing medical debt. Policy solutions also must take into account the diversity among nonwhite populations and include input from practitioners who understand the needs and challenges that different communities of color face.