Now, a new analysis of that data says African Americans in the District increasingly live east of the Anacostia River, where poverty is at higher levels than it was before the Great Recession.
The same week the White House said burdensome zoning regulations limited available affordable housing across the country, the numbers reinforced a view of a rapidly gentrifying city that has not brought prosperity to everyone.
“The long-term effects of racism and segregation played out,” said Ed Lazere, executive director of the D.C. Fiscal Policy Institute, which researches budget issues in the District and completed the analysis. “African Americans were pushed to neighborhoods with less economic opportunity.”
The analysis showed that fewer African Americans live west of the Anacostia than before the recession. Just 33 percent of D.C. residents in those wealthier parts of the city are black.
Meanwhile, 92 percent of residents east of the river are black, and 47 percent of the District’s black population lives there — an increase from 2007, when just 41 percent did.
Poverty east of the river is also on the rise. In 2015, 33 percent of residents living there lived in poverty, an increase from 27 percent in 2007.
And though median income for the District as a whole is up, median income for those living east of the river is still $34,000, as it was almost 10 years ago.
Lazere said the city’s attempts to protect residents from the downside of economic growth, particularly the loss of affordable housing, were a “huge failure.”
“I think for sure our leaders could have and should have predicted that Metro would spur development and raise housing prices,” he said, speaking of the growth of the Green Line. “We could and should have been more proactive.”
The analysis recommended preserving affordable housing west of the river using ideas presented by the Housing Preservation Strike Force under Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D), and praised development such as the 11th Street Bridge Park that address the need for affordable housing.