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Sunday, December 20, 2020

Segregation in Housing

At Axios, Aja Whitaker-Moore explains racial segregation in housing:
How it worked:
  • Racial covenants: Starting in the 1920s, realtors and developers wrote language into deeds to prevent anyone who wasn't white from buying property.
  • Redlining: The federal Home Owners’ Loan Corp. created "residential security maps" in the 1930s based on evaluations from lenders, developers and appraisers.
    • The lowest-rated, "hazardous" areas were outlined in red. The maps reinforced racial and income segregation, deterred investment in non-white communities and depressed home values — a dynamic that still exists in a majority of redlined areas today.
Realtors: The profession required racial discrimination.
“A Realtor should never be instrumental in introducing into a neighborhood a character of property or occupancy, members of any race or nationality, or any individuals whose presence will clearly be detrimental to property values in that neighborhood.”— The Realtor Code of Ethics, 1924-1950
    • The National Association of Realtors recently issued a public apology for its past.
  • The big picture: Redlined maps are gone but the inequality they helped create has endured. Limiting the ability to build wealth through the value of a home touches future generations since houses can be passed on as inheritance and also tapped for anything from college funds to seed money to start a business.