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Status: Complete

Milwaukee is one of the nation's most segregated cities.10 As the map on the
following page indicates, the city's Black population is located on the near
north side. In 1975, 70 percent of the city's Black population lived in neigh-
borhoods where at least 75 percent of the residents were Black. Also, only
.2 percent of the county's total Black population lived in suburban areas.

Homeownership among Blacks has risen only slightly since 1950. At that time,
approximately one-quarter of the Black occupied housing units were owner-
occupied, as compared to a nearly 44 percent homeownership rate among non-Blacks.
In 1970, the gap had narrowed slightly, with a 33 percent homeownership rate
for Blacks and a 49 percent rate for non-Blacks. However, in spite of these
gains, Blacks still had a lower homeownership rate in 1970 than did non-Blacks
twenty years earlier. Close to 70 percent of the Black population in 1970 con-
tinued to be renters.

Black families generally spend a larger proportion of their income toward hous-
ing, and more often than not, the housing which is available to them is the
oldest and least adequate housing in the city.

The cost of housing has also been an obstacle for Black families, who are dis-
proportionately poor. In 1970, over half (53.8%) of the Black households
with incomes less than $10,000 spent more than 25 percent of their income on
housing (25 percent is generally accepted as the standard proportion of income
which should be spent on shelter costs). While this is only slightly higher
than the figure for non-Blacks in these circumstances (51.6%), over two-thirds
of the Black population earns less than $10,000 compared to just under half of
the non-Black population

Much of Milwaukee's housing stock is old--55 percent was build prior to 1940.
Only 5 percent of all Black families live in housing units constructed since
1960. This compares to figures of 15.7 percent for the rest of the city's
residents. Nearly nine-tenths (88.5%) of the Black residents live in structures
built prior to 1950. These older houses are the most likely to be located in
deteriorating sections of the city and are frequently in need of repair. Further,
Black homeowners tend to occupy homes with lower values than those of the pop-
ulation as a whole. In 1970, the median value of Black owned homes was $12,100,
much less than the $18,200 median value of all owner-occupied homes.

Thus, while Blacks in Milwaukee have experienced improved housing conditions in
the past twenty-five years, access to decent housing is still limited for a
large number of Blacks.

All available evidence indicates that the level of health care for Blacks is
significantly lower than that for the rest of the population. Blacks experience
much higher rates of infant mortality and of disease. Further, the reduced
availability of doctors in predominately Black areas of the city and the high
costs of medical care hinder the access of Black persons to health services.

Infant mortality rates are widely used as indicators of the quality of medical
care for a population. Blacks have always experienced much higher rates of

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