In our community and in many parts of our country, there is extreme housing segregation that is a direct result of a practice called “redlining” a form of lending discrimination that has disproportionately affected Black, Latino, and other people of color for hundreds of years.
Beginning in the 1930s, this nationwide practice allowed banks to deny mortgage and loan applications, and prevented people from buying homes based on race or which community they lived in. The term “redlining” comes from the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) using red ink to outline maps of undesirable neighborhoods— predominately consisting of Black and Latino families—to unfairly mark them as high-risk for loan default and thus give banks a “reason” to deny a loan.
Housing segregation continued further as the FHA and VA denied subsidized mortgages to Black, Latino and families of color in the growing suburbs after World War II. The first federal law prohibiting home lending discrimination was put in place with the 1969 Fair Housing Act, yet much damage had been done and lending discrimination still occurs today in different forms. Home ownership plays a significant role in family wealth, enabling families to build equity that is passed down to future generations.
Due to policies that have favored white individuals and have made home-ownership more easily attainable, collectively, white individuals were more easily able to build generational wealth. These discriminatory practices still exist and continue to bar BIPOC individuals from becoming home-owners.
According to the NYS 2020 ALICE Report, in Westchester County, the communities with the highest ALICE rate (those living in poverty or paycheck-to-paycheck) also have a disproportionate number of Black or Hispanic households as compared to those communities with a low ALICE rate.
Use the content below to reflect on the ways that housing inequities are advanced through policies and practices, and how we can address this issue together.
“Soft on Segregation: How the Feds Failed to Integrate Westchester County”
“Redlining’s legacy: Maps are gone, but the problem hasn’t disappeared”
– CBS News
“Watch What is Systemic Racism? Housing Discrimination”
– Race Forward
“Nikole Hannah-Jones on the Rippling Effects of Redlining and Segregation.”
– Adam Ruins Everything Podcast
Mapping Inequality: Interactive Map
These articles were curated by a local committee to be used as a list of resources pertinent to DEI topics. The 21-Day Racial Equity Challenge Committee would like to thank and give attribution to those who created the content above, which reflects their individual perspectives. We do not support nor endorse any advertisements associated with the above content.
Use these following prompts to reflect on the information you consumed today:
How do you think housing policies have either benefited or harmed
Is your neighborhood or community primarily made up of one
racial group or ethnicity?
If so, do you think discriminatory housing policies may
have affected this? How so?
Your action item of the day is to…