Redlining is the practice of denying services and/or capital to the residents of a neighborhood based on the residents’ race and ethnicity. The practice began in the 1930s when government sanctioned city planners (and later private sector entities) drew red lines around neighborhoods that they believed were inferior because of the racial makeup of the neighborhood. These red lined areas represented areas where government officials planned to withhold services and capital and sustain racially segregated cities and suburbs. It was a very transparent, unapologetically racist strategy for reducing the supply of quality housing for people of color. This system perpetuated housing inequality early on in the nation’s history, promoting and contributing to a high risk of homelessness for people of color. And while this practice has historical origins, it is still a rampant problem in the United States of America. The recent lawsuit against Associated Banks shows us how prevalent these despicable practices still are and how they hurt the quest for housing equality for all Americans.
Comedian Larry Wilmore, host of Comedy Central’s The Nightly Show, recently ran a segment on redlining practices in America. While the tone of the video clip is comedic in nature, Wilmore disseminates vital information about redlining in an engaging manner. If you are interested in how institutional racism has affected homelessness and housing inequality this is a good video to watch. Check it out….
For more information on redlining in the past and present check out these sources:
“Redlining: Still A Thing,” by Emily Badger. The Washington Post. 28 May 2015: http://wapo.st/1LLPu5r
“The Racist Housing Policy That Made Your Neighborhood,” by Alexis Madrigal. The Atlantic. 22 May 2014: http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2014/05/the-racist-housing-policy-that-made-your-neighborhood/371439/
Dreier, Peter. “Redlining cities: How banks color community development.” Challenge (1991): 15-23. http://scholar.oxy.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1357&context=uep_faculty&sei-redir=1&referer=https%3A%2F%2Fscholar.google.com%2Fscholar%3Fstart%3D50%26q%3Dred%2Blining%26hl%3Den%26as_sdt%3D0%2C5#search=%22red%20lining%22
Rice, Willy E. “Race, Gender, Redlining, and the Discriminatory Access to Loans, Credit, and Insurance: An Historical and Empirical Analysis of Consumers Who Sued Lenders and Insurers in Federal and State Courts, 1950-1995.” San Diego L. Rev. 33 (1996): 583. http://repository.law.ttu.edu/bitstream/handle/10601/73/rice2.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y