Ameris Bank, under a settlement with the Department of Justice, is set to allocate $9 million to counter modern-day redlining, with a significant focus on Jacksonville's primarily Black and Hispanic neighborhoods. Redlining, a discriminatory lending practice originating in the 1930s, was alleged to have deprived communities of color in Jacksonville of lending opportunities, causing economic decline.
U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland and Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke emphasized the significance of combatting discriminatory lending practices to empower marginalized communities to access housing and wealth. The Settlement is part of the DOJ's broader "Combat Redlining Initiative" and includes specific provisions, such as subsidizing loans for residents, investing in advertising and community partnerships, and establishing a new branch in an underserved area, among other measures.
#Jacksonville, particularly its historically Black neighborhoods like the Eastside, has suffered from redlining's enduring consequences, leading to disparities in housing, wealth, and community development. The Settlement aims to rectify these disparities by providing financial support, increasing access to banking services, and advocating for more equitable lending opportunities.
Redlining's historical context in Jacksonville stems from discriminatory federal mapping that marginalized communities of color, limiting their access to mortgages and loans. Such practices sustained economic disparities that persist to this day, affecting generational wealth-building and exacerbating housing challenges.