A reparations committee in California projected that black people in the state who are descended from slaves could receive as much as $223,200 for housing discrimination during the 20th century, according to a report.
The nine-person task force, which was formed by Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-CA), estimated that the reparations would cost $569 billion to compensate the 2.5 million black people affected by the housing discrimination between 1933 and 1977. However, no official recommendation has been made so far and the committee has until June of 2023 to issue one.
“We are looking at reparations on a scale that is the largest since Reconstruction,” task force member Jovan Scott Lewis told the New York Times.
The committee made its estimations after holding meetings across the state with black Californians in an effort to better understand how slavery and discrimination affected black communities economically. One example was a city near San Francisco called Russell City, which served as a home for black families fleeing persecution in the deep South. However, residents were forced out of the city when it was bulldozed in the 1960s and replaced with an industrial park.
Earlier this year, the task force released a 500-page report on why descendants of slaves should be compensated, and has identified four other areas where compensation for descendants could be made, including mass incarceration, unjust property seizures, devaluation of black businesses, and healthcare.
Members of the task force are still considering how the money would be paid out, with some recommending cash payments, while others suggested education and housing grants. The task force has also met with historians to discuss how reparations were paid in the past, including reparations after World War II.
The task force will meet again later this month to discuss the reparations further before making its final recommendations to the state legislature by June. The compensation bill needs approval by the state legislature before it can be enacted.