I found redlining to be an interesting topic to research because I have noticed its effects on cities near me and around the country. I wanted to know why redlining, which was abolished nearly 60 years ago, could have such a detrimental effect on our society. I have heard it come up now and then on the news or in class, but never truly understood the topic very well. As my curiosity sparked, I began to understand the grasp redlining had on our country, and why the effects were so prominent and powerful in our cities.
What YOU Need to Know About Redlining
Redlining started in 1934 with the National Housing Act of 1934, stemming from the policies created by the Home Loaners Corporation in 1933 led by the Franklin Roosevelt Administration. Redlining was a “discriminatory pattern of disinvestment and obstructive lending practices that act as an impediment to homeownership among African Americans and other people of color” (Gaspaire). It completely blocked minorities’ access to affordable housing and effective loans in their own city.
The effects of this discrimination led to these minority groups having to stay and live in smaller, poorer communities, without being allowed any development in homeownership. Banks had created maps based on safety and loaning reliability to find the places where they could profit, excluding the financially struggling communities and leaving them isolated. These isolated communities were labeled “yellow and red” compared to the nicer neighborhoods in the city labeled “green or blue” due to their loaning reliability and overall wealth.
If you would like to look at the effect today in more depth, please visit my essay here.
How Is It Affecting Us Today?
The ongoing issue of redlining has been affecting our country in the shadows for several decades. Even though it was abolished in 1968 with the Fair Housing Act, redlining creates an enormous obstacle toward development in the communities that were redlined. The communities that faced this discrimination now suffer from poorer living conditions and higher poverty rates, the increasing wage gap between other communities in the same area, increased violence, etc.
Being from the Bay Area allowed me to immerse myself in the history of where I am from. Redlining has had a tremendous effect on the Bay Area and its poverty rates, specifically in Oakland and San Francisco. An organization combating the issues from redlining, Urban Displacement Project, states that nearly “87% of San Francisco’s redlined neighborhoods are low-income neighborhoods undergoing gentrification today”. It is a heartbreaking statistic that really shows how a city can be affected by redlining, even after it was abolished many years ago.
If you would like to look at the affect today in more depth, please visit my essay here.
“For Now” Response – How You/We Can Take Action
The issue at hand is not an easy one to overcome, given the circumstances it has. Many organizations continue to push for both solutions on a local level and on a national/state level, while also bringing awareness to many corners of the country. Two organizations specifically, the Urban Displacement Project and National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC), give a chance for people to come together and support communities in need. They provide insight as well as many tactics that can combat the issue, allowing anyone to partake in the restoration of communities affected by redlining throughout the country. The solutions are long-term and hard to accomplish, but if more awareness and information are brought into the spotlight, the problem could see an end.
Local solution help provide for your community and communities around you, allowing you to take part in a growing movement our country desperately needs. Micro solutions that you can take part in is supporting local organizations that focus on neighborhood revitalization and support Section 8 which contains rental and voucher assistance programs. You can also communicate with residents on how to ““preserve culture and community while moving towards a solution where one’s health is not detrimentally affected by the place where they were born” (NCRC). These micro solutions will get you active in helping
On a wider scale, you can support the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule which will allow housing officials and authorities to comprehend the current barriers redlined communities face, and how to overcome those barriers. It also helps community target areas that are suffering from poverty and suppress it. You can also advocate the issue by supporting the “Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) to include non-banks and to modernize how this law is implemented” (NCRC). Again, helping organizations like the ones mentioned can also suffice and will help greatly to the cause. You can do such for communities around you or organizations that focus on nation-wide change.
Open For Feedback
Thank you for taking the time to read my project! Any and all feedback is welcome and I ask if you have any recommendations for me, please let me know and it would be greatly appreciated.
Resources Consulted and Cited
None of this work would’ve been possible without wonderful organizations and educational sites, so you can check all the works cited on this google doc.