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Dear White Women

Aug 7, 2019

Have you heard of redlining? If so, do you know what it means today? And are you aware that the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), created by President Roosevelt in 1934, actually institutionalized the system of discriminatory lending in government-backed mortgages in America?  

Today, we're talking about redlining. In the 1930s, government surveyors, developed by the Homeowners Loan Coalition, graded neighborhoods in 239 American cities, using color-coded maps to indicate the level of security for real estate investments. These maps were based purely on assumptions about the various communities.

Tune into this episode of Dear White Women to hear about the Federal Housing Administration and why it was created, to learn about what redlining is and how it impacted homeownership almost a century ago, and to find out how all of this ties into patterns of gentrification today. 

Show Highlights:

  • The function of the FHA is to provide mortgage insurance on loans made by FHA approved lenders throughout the United States. 
  • The color-coded maps were not at all about the ability of households to satisfy lending criteria because they were based on assumptions about the community.
  • What the different colors indicated about the neighborhoods.
  • The FHA publications at the time implied that different races should not share neighborhoods.
  • In 1941, a white developer built a concrete wall between the white and black areas so that the white people could obtain mortgages.
  • Statistics from the Federal Reserve show that white families now have ten times the net worth of black families and more than eight times that of Hispanic families.
  • Some things that people were asked to put on the mortgage loan application forms about the neighborhood.
  • Creating the foundation for systemic discrimination in terms of lending, mortgages, and neighborhood construction.
  • A National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) study found that three out of four neighborhoods that were redlined in the government maps eighty years ago, continue to struggle economically.
  • The problem with gentrification.
  • Systemic issues and the after-effects of redlining.
  • How architectural changes became a signal of gentrification, with white buyers, and non-whites being forced out.
  • What you can do to remedy the situation.