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Race Equity Trends > Housing and Neighborhoods

Average Age of Housing by Census Tract

Lincoln’s older neighborhoods are home to higher proportions of people of color

This map shows age of housing across Lincoln. Comparing to the map elsewhere on this website showing the distribution of where people of various races and ethnicities live in Lincoln, we can see that Lincoln’s oldest neighborhoods tend to also have higher proportions of residents of color. Older housing is more likely to have higher heating and cooling costs, higher upkeep, and to contain lead pipes and/or paint, which can lead to serious health effects, for both children and adults.

Lead exposure can seriously harm children’s health and development through damage to the brain and nervous system, slowed growth and development, learning and behavioral problems, and hearing and speech problems.1 Lead exposure also poses health risks for adults including damage to the heart, kidneys, and brain.2

Older homes are more likely to contain lead paint with the likelihood decreasing to reflect changing regulations and manufacturer practices over time. According to the EPA,3 homes built:

  • Before 1940 have about an 87% chance of containing lead paint.
  • 1940-1959 have about a 69% chance.
  • 1960-1977 have a 24% chance.

Lead was banned from consumer products in 1978.3

Lincoln’s older neighborhoods also tend to have a higher number of rental housing complaints deemed justified by the City of Lincoln Building and Safety Department, as shown on the Rental Housing Complaints Map.


City of Lincoln (2023). Open Data and Performance Management. https://opendata.lincoln.ne.gov/

  1. Centers for Disease Control. n.d. Health Effects of Lead Exposure. https://www.cdc.gov/nceh/lead/prevention/health-effects.htm
  2. Spivey A. (2007). The weight of lead. Effects add up in adults. Environmental health perspectives, 115(1), A30–A36. https://doi.org/10.1289/ehp.115-a30
  3. Environmental Protection Agency (2024). Protect Your Family From Sources of Lead Exposure. https://www.epa.gov/lead/protect-your-family-sources-lead