In the United States and Canada, redlining is the systematic denial of various services to residents of specific, often racially associated, neighborhoods or communities, either directly or through the selective raising of prices. While the best known examples of redlining have involved denial of financial services such as banking or insurance, other services such as health care or even supermarkets have been denied to residents. In the case of retail businesses like supermarkets, purposely locating impractically far away from said residents results in a redlining effect. Reverse redlining occurs when a lender or insurer targets particular neighborhoods that are predominantly nonwhite, not to deny residents loans or insurance, but rather to charge them more than in a non-redlined neighborhood where there is more competition.
In the 1960s, sociologist John McKnight coined the term "redlining" to describe the discriminatory practice of fencing off areas where banks would avoid investments based on community demographics. During the heyday of redlining, the areas most frequently discriminated against were black inner city neighborhoods. For example, in Atlanta in the 1980s, a Pulitzer Prize-winning series of articles by investigative reporter Bill Dedman showed that banks would often lend to lower-income whites but not to middle-income or upper-income blacks. The use of blacklists is a related mechanism also used by redliners to keep track of groups, areas, and people that the discriminating party feels should be denied business or aid or other transactions. In the academic literature, redlining falls under the broader category of credit rationing.
Although informal discrimination and segregation had existed in the United States, the specific practice called "redlining" began with the National Housing Act of 1934, which established the Federal Housing Administration (FHA).[page needed] Racial segregation and discrimination against minorities and minority communities pre-existed this policy. The implementation of this federal policy aggravated the decay of minority inner-city neighborhoods caused by the withholding of mortgage capital, and made it even more difficult for neighborhoods to attract and retain families able to purchase homes.[page needed] The assumptions in redlining resulted in a large increase in residential racial segregation and urban decay in the United States.
In 1935, the Federal Home Loan Bank Board (FHLBB) asked Home Owners' Loan Corporation (HOLC) to look at 239 cities and create "residential security maps" to indicate the level of security for real-estate investments in each surveyed city. On the maps, the newest areas—those considered desirable for lending purposes—were outlined in green and known as "Type A". These were typically affluent suburbs on the outskirts of cities. "Type B" neighborhoods, outlined in blue, were considered "Still Desirable", whereas older "Type C" were labeled "Declining" and outlined in yellow. "Type D" neighborhoods were outlined in red and were considered the most risky for mortgage support. These neighborhoods tended to be the older districts in the center of cities; often they were also black neighborhoods.[page needed] Urban planning historians theorize that the maps were used by private and public entities for years afterward to deny loans to people in black communities.[page needed] But, recent research has indicated that the HOLC did not redline in its own lending activities and that the racist language reflected the bias of the private sector and experts hired to conduct the appraisals.
Some redlined maps were also created by private organizations, such as J.M. Brewer's 1934 map of Philadelphia. Private organizations created maps designed to meet the requirements of the Federal Housing Administration's underwriting manual. The lenders had to consider FHA standards if they wanted to receive FHA insurance for their loans. FHA appraisal manuals instructed banks to steer clear of areas with "inharmonious racial groups", and recommended that municipalities enact racially restrictive zoning ordinances.
Following a National Housing Conference in 1973, a group of Chicago community organizations led by The Northwest Community Organization (NCO) formed National People's Action (NPA), to broaden the fight against disinvestment and mortgage redlining in neighborhoods all over the country. This organization, led by Chicago housewife Gale Cincotta and Shel Trapp, a professional community organizer, targeted The Federal Home Loan Bank Board, the governing authority over federally chartered Savings & Loan institutions (S&L) that held at that time the bulk of the country's home mortgages. NPA embarked on an effort to build a national coalition of urban community organizations to pass a national disclosure regulation or law to require banks to reveal their lending patterns.
For many years, urban community organizations had battled neighborhood decay by attacking blockbusting, forcing landlords to maintain properties, and requiring cities to board up and tear down abandoned properties. These actions addressed the short-term issues of neighborhood decline. Neighborhood leaders began to learn that these issues and conditions were symptoms of a disinvestment that was the true, though hidden, underlying cause of these problems. They changed their strategy as more data was gathered.
With the help of NPA, a coalition of loosely affiliated community organizations began to form. At the Third Annual Housing Conference held in Chicago in 1974, eight hundred delegates representing 25 states and 35 cities attended. The strategy focused on the Federal Home Loan Bank Board (FHLBB), which oversaw S&L's in cities all over the country.
In 1974, Chicago's Metropolitan Area Housing Association (MAHA), made up of representatives of local organizations, succeeded in having the Illinois State Legislature pass laws mandating disclosure and outlawing redlining. In Massachusetts, organizers allied with NPA confronted a unique situation. Over 90% of home mortgages were held by state-chartered savings banks. A Jamaica Plain neighborhood organization pushed the disinvestment issue into the statewide gubernatorial race. The Jamaica Plain Banking & Mortgage Committee and its citywide affiliate, The Boston Anti-redlining Coalition (BARC), won a commitment from Democratic candidate Michael S. Dukakis to order statewide disclosure through the Massachusetts State Banking Commission. After Dukakis was elected, his new Banking Commissioner ordered banks to disclose mortgage-lending patterns by ZIP code. The suspected redlining was revealed.
NPA and its affiliates achieved disclosure of lending practices with the passage of The Home Mortgage Disclosure Act of 1975. The required transparency and review of loan practices began to change lending practices. NPA began to work on reinvestment in areas that had been neglected. Their support helped gain passage in 1977 of the Community Reinvestment Act.
According to blackpast.org contributor Brent Gaspaire:
As a consequence of redlining, neighborhoods that local banks deemed unfit for investment were left underdeveloped or in disrepair. Attempts to improve these neighborhoods with even relatively small-scale business ventures were commonly obstructed by financial institutions that continued to label the underwriting as too risky or simply rejected them outright. When existing businesses collapsed, new ones were not allowed to replace them, often leaving entire blocks empty and crumbling. Consequently, African Americans in those neighborhoods were frequently limited in their access to banking, healthcare, retail merchandise, and even groceries.
Redlining paralyzed the housing market, lowered property values in certain areas and encouraged landlord abandonment. As abandonment increased, the population density became lower. Abandoned buildings served as havens for drug dealing and other illegal activity, increasing social problems and reluctance of people to invest in these areas.[page needed] Because areas were redlined residents in them were unable to obtain loans to improve their homes or get loans to move to a different area. Obviously, the neighborhoods had zero investment while neighborhoods around them improved. When the GI Bill was created during World War II, veterans who once lived in redlined areas were unable to get zero interest loans to build new homes like the rest of the returning soldiers. This forced them to stay in the areas that were poor and uninvested in while the rest of America was growing and moving to the suburbs. Around the same time the GI Bill was created, the Federal Highway Act was also created. Because the areas that were redlined were so poor, many cities chose to destroy these areas to create the highways. The residents were displaced and forced to move into different uninvested neighborhoods while their homes and businesses were destroyed by the highways.
A 2017 study by Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago economists found that the practice of redlining—the practice whereby banks discriminated against the inhabitants of certain neighborhoods—had a persistent adverse impact on the neighborhoods, with redlining affecting homeownership rates, home values and credit scores in 2010. Since many African-Americans could not access conventional home loans, they had to turn to predatory lenders (who charged high interest rates). Due to lower home ownership rates, slumlords were able to rent out apartments that would otherwise be owned.
Black - White Wealth GapEdit
This structural racism actively helped to create what is now known as the Black - White wealth gap we see in America today. Wealth is what provides/allows opportunity for the American Family. A family can survive on an income alone but wealth is what provides for economic mobility and safety in the event of an emergency. This primary difference is what works to set apart people of color ( in particular black Americans) and affluent white Americans. Unfortunately, wealth is unevenly distributed on a basis of race, a process then can be traced back to times of slavery, allowing whites to profit off bodies of an enslaved people, who were not allowed to live freely or build any wealth of some sort. Then, shortly after we experience Jim crow, redlining, prison-industrial complex and mass incarceration, environmental racism, law and policy that prohibit people of color from having the same liberties as their white counterparts. History shows an America built off the oppression of a disenfranchised people who have no direct relationship to power and wealth.
Studies show that:
Black families in America earn just $57.30 for every $100 in income earned by white families, according to the Census Bureau's Current Population Survey. For every $100 in white family wealth, black families hold just $5.04.
In 2016, the median wealth for black and Hispanic families was $17,600 and $20,700, respectively, compared with white families' median wealth of $171,000.
The black-white wealth gap has not recovered from the Great Recession. In 2007, immediately before the Great Recession, the median wealth of blacks was nearly 14 percent that of whites. Although black wealth increased at a faster rate than white wealth in 2016, blacks still owned less than 10 percent of whites' wealth at the median.
Asian Americans and RedliningEdit
"Like all minorities, Asians have been deeply affected by discriminatory housing policies of the 20th century, including redlining and restrictive racial covenants. Those laws and regulations prevented many racial and ethnic minorities from buying in suburban areas, from buying certain homes from white people, and from being able to get a loan in minority-heavy neighborhoods.
Asian Americans persevered, boasting the highest homeownership rate of any single minority group beginning in 1970. Their share of the homeownership market is now even with their share of the overall U.S. population — despite the fact that so many live in coastal cities where renting is popular." 
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced a $200 million settlement with Associated Bank over redlining in Chicago and Milwaukee in May 2015. The three-year HUD observation led to the complaint that the bank purposely rejected mortgage applications from black and Latino applicants. The final settlement required AB to open branches in non-white neighborhoods, just like HSBC.
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced a settlement with Evans Bank for $825,000 on September 10, 2015. An investigation had uncovered the erasure of black neighborhoods from mortgage lending maps. According to Schneiderman, of the over 1,100 mortgage applications the bank received between 2009 and 2012, only four were from African Americans. Following this investigation, the Buffalo News reported that more banks could be investigated for the same reasons in the near future. The most notable examples of such DOJ and HUD settlements have focused heavily on community banks in large metropolitan areas, but banks in other regions have been the subject of such orders as well, including First United Security Bank in Thomasville, Alabama, and Community State Bank in Saginaw, Michigan.
The United States Department of Justice announced a $33 million settlement with Hudson City Savings Bank, which services New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania, on September 24, 2015. The six-year DOJ investigation had proven that the company was intentionally avoiding granting mortgages to Latinos and African Americans and purposely avoided expanding into minority-majority communities. The Justice Department called it the "largest residential mortgage redlining settlement in its history." As a part of the settlement agreement, HCSB was forced to open branches in non-white communities. As U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman explained to Emily Badger for The Washington Post, "[i]f you lived in a majority-black or Hispanic neighborhood and you wanted to apply for a mortgage, Hudson City Savings Bank was not the place to go." The enforcement agencies cited additional evidence of discrimination Hudson City's broker selection practices, noting that the bank received 80 percent of its mortgage applications from mortgage brokers but that the brokers with whom the bank worked were not located in majority African-American and Hispanic areas.
In the United States, the Fair Housing Act of 1968 was passed to fight the practice. According to the Department of Housing and Urban Development "The Fair Housing Act makes it unlawful to discriminate in the terms, conditions, or privileges of sale of a dwelling because of race or national origin. The Act also makes it unlawful for any person or other entity whose business includes residential real estate-related transactions to discriminate against any person in making available such a transaction, or in the terms or conditions of such a transaction, because of race or national origin." The Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity was tasked with administering and enforcing this law. Anyone who suspects that their neighborhood has been redlined is able to file a housing discrimination complaint.
The Community Reinvestment Act passed by Congress in 1977 to reduce discriminatory credit practices against low-income neighborhoods further required banks to apply the same lending criteria in all communities. Although open redlining was made illegal in the 1970s through community reinvestment legislation, the practice may have continued in less overt ways.[page needed] AIDS activists allege redlining of health insurance against the LGBT community in response to the AIDS crisis.[dubious ]
ShoreBank, a community-development bank in Chicago's South Shore neighborhood, was a part of the private-sector fight against redlining. Founded in 1973, ShoreBank sought to combat racist lending practices in Chicago's African-American communities by providing financial services, especially mortgage loans, to local residents. In a 1992 speech, then-Presidential candidate Bill Clinton called ShoreBank "the most important bank in America." On August 20, 2010, the bank was declared insolvent, closed by regulators and most of its assets were acquired by Urban Partnership Bank.
In the mid-1970s, community organizations, under the banner of the NPA, worked to fight against redlining in South Austin, Illinois. One of these organizations was SACCC (South Austin Coalition Community Council), formed to restore South Austin's neighborhood and to fight against financial institutions accused of propagating redlining. This got the attention of insurance regulators in the Illinois Department of Insurance, as well as federal officers enforcing anti-racial discrimination laws.
Brick and mortarEdit
Retail redlining is a spatially discriminatory practice among retailers. Taxicab services and delivery food may not serve certain areas, based on their ethnic-minority composition and assumptions about business (and perceived crime), rather than data and economic criteria, such as the potential profitability of operating in those areas. Consequently, consumers in these areas are vulnerable to prices set by fewer retailers. They may be exploited by retailers who charge higher prices and/or offer them inferior goods.
A 2012 study by the Wall Street Journal found that Staples, Home Depot, Rosetta Stone and some other online retailers displayed different prices to customers in different locations (distinct from shipping prices). Staples based discounts on proximity to competitors like OfficeMax and Office Depot. This generally resulted in higher prices for customers in more rural areas, who were on average less wealthy than customers seeing lower prices.
Some service providers target low-income neighborhoods for nuisance sales. When those services are believed to have adverse effects on a community, they may considered to be a form of "reverse redlining." The term "liquorlining" is sometimes used to describe high densities of liquor stores in low income and/or minority communities relative to surrounding areas. High densities of liquor stores are associated with crime and public health issues, which may in turn drive away supermarkets, grocery stores, and other retail outlets, contributing to low levels of economic development. Controlled for income, nonwhites face higher concentrations of liquor stores than do whites.
In December 2007, a class action lawsuit was brought against student loan lending giant Sallie Mae in the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut. The class alleged that Sallie Mae discriminated against African American and Hispanic private student loan applicants.
The case alleged that the factors Sallie Mae used to underwrite private student loans caused a disparate impact on students attending schools with higher minority populations. The suit also alleged that Sallie Mae failed to properly disclose loan terms to private student loan borrowers.
The lawsuit was settled in 2011. The terms of the settlement included Sallie Mae agreeing to make a $500,000 donation to the United Negro College Fund and the attorneys for the plaintiffs receiving $1.8 million in attorneys' fees.
Credit card redlining is a spatially discriminatory practice among credit card issuers, of providing different amounts of credit to different areas, based on their ethnic-minority composition, rather than on economic criteria, such as the potential profitability of operating in those areas. Scholars assess certain policies, such as credit card issuers reducing credit lines of individuals with a record of purchases at retailers frequented by so-called "high-risk" customers, to be akin to redlining.
Much of the economic impacts we find as a result of redlining and the banking system directly impacts that of the African American / Black Community. Beginning in the 1960's, there was a large infiltration of Black Veterans and their families moving into suburban White communities. As Blacks moved in, Whites moved out and the market value of these homes dropped dramatically. In observation of said market values, bank lenders were able to keep close track by literally drawing red lines around the neighborhoods on a map. These lines signified areas that they would not invest in. By way of racial redlining, not only banks but savings and loans, insurance companies, grocery chains, and even pizza delivery companies thwarts economic vitality in black communities. The severe lacking in civil rights laws in combination with the economic impact led to the passing of the Community Reinvestment Act in 1977.
Racial and economic redlining sets the people who lived in these communities up for failure from the start. So much that banks would often deny people who came from these areas bank loans or offered them at stricter repayment rates. As a result, there was a very low rate at which people (in particular Blacks / African Americans) were able to own their homes; opening the door for slum landlords (who could get approved for low interest loans in those communities) to take over and do as they saw fit.
Gregory D. Squires wrote in 2003 that data showed that race continues to affect the policies and practices of the insurance industry. Racial profiling or redlining has a long history in the property-insurance industry in the United States. From a review of industry underwriting and marketing materials, court documents, and research by government agencies, industry and community groups, and academics, it is clear that race has long affected and continues to affect the policies and practices of the insurance industry. Home-insurance agents may try to assess the ethnicity of a potential customer just by telephone, affecting what services they offer to inquiries about purchasing a home insurance policy. This type of discrimination is called linguistic profiling. There have also been concerns raised about redlining in the automotive insurance industry. Reviews of insurance scores based on credit are shown to have unequal results by ethnic group. The Ohio Department of Insurance in the early 21st century allows insurance providers to use maps and collection of demographic data by ZIP code in determining insurance rates. The FHEO Director of Investigations at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Sara Pratt, wrote:
Like other forms of discrimination, the history of insurance redlining began in conscious, overt racial discrimination practiced openly and with significant community support in communities throughout the country. There was documented overt discrimination in practices relating to residential housing—from the appraisal manuals which established an articulated "policy" of preferences based on race, religion and national origin. to lending practices which only made loans available in certain parts of town or to certain borrowers, to the decision-making process in loans and insurance which allowed the insertion of discriminatory assessments into final decisions about either.
Reverse redlining occurs when a lender or insurer particularly targets minority consumers, not to deny them loans or insurance, but to charge them more than would be charged to a similarly situated white consumer, specifically marketing the most expensive and onerous loan products. These communities had largely been ignored by most lenders just a couple of decades earlier. In the 2000s some financial institutions considered black communities as suitable for subprime mortgages. Wells Fargo partnered with churches in black communities, where the pastor would deliver "wealth building" seminars in their sermons, and the bank would make a donation to the church in return for every new mortgage application. Working-class blacks wanted a part of the nation's home-owning trend. Instead of contributing to homeownership and community progress, predatory lending practices through reverse redlining stripped the equity homeowners struggled to build and drained the wealth of those communities for the enrichment of financial firms. The growth of subprime lending (higher cost loans to borrowers with flaws on their credit records) prior to the 2008 financial crisis, coupled with growing law enforcement activity in those areas, clearly showed a surge in a range of manipulative practices. Not all subprime loans were predatory, but virtually all predatory loans were subprime. Some subprime loans certainly benefit high-risk borrowers who would not qualify for conventional, prime loans. Predatory loans, however, charge unreasonably higher rates and fees by compared to the risk, trapping homeowners in unaffordable debt and often costing them their homes and life savings.
A survey of two districts of similar incomes, one being largely white and the other largely black, found that bank branches in the black community offered largely subprime loans and almost no prime loans. Studies found out that high-income blacks were almost twice as likely to end up with subprime home-purchase mortgages as did low-income whites. Some loan officers referred to blacks as "mud people" and to subprime lending as "ghetto loans." A lower savings rate and a distrust of banks, stemming from a legacy of redlining, may help explain why there are fewer branches in minority neighborhoods. In the early 21st century, brokers and telemarketers actively pushed subprime mortgages. A majority of the loans were refinance transactions, allowing homeowners to take cash out of their appreciating property or pay off credit card and other debt.
Redlining has helped preserve segregated living patterns for blacks and whites in the United States, as discrimination is often contingent on the racial composition of neighborhoods and the race of the applicant. Lending institutions such as Wells Fargo have been shown to treat black mortgage applicants differently when they are buying homes in white neighborhoods than when buying homes in black neighborhoods.
Dan Immergluck writes that in 2002 small businesses in black neighborhoods received fewer loans, even after accounting for business density, business size, industrial mix, neighborhood income, and the credit quality of local businesses.
Several state attorneys general have begun investigating these practices, which may violate fair lending laws. The NAACP filed a class-action lawsuit charging systematic racial discrimination by more than a dozen banks.
Policies related to redlining and urban decay can also act as a form of environmental racism, which in turn affect public health. Urban minority communities may face environmental racism in the form of parks that are smaller, less accessible and of poorer quality than those in more affluent or white areas in some cities. This may have an indirect effect on health, since young people have fewer places to play, and adults have fewer opportunities for exercise.
Robert Wallace writes that the pattern of the AIDS outbreak during the 80s was affected by the outcomes of a program of "planned shrinkage" directed at African-American and Hispanic communities. It was implemented through systematic denial of municipal services, particularly fire protection resources, essential to maintain urban levels of population density and ensure community stability. Institutionalized racism affects general health care as well as the quality of AIDS health intervention and services in minority communities. The over-representation of minorities in various disease categories, including AIDS, is partially related to environmental racism. The national response to the AIDS epidemic in minority communities was slow during the 80s and 90s, showing an insensitivity to ethnic diversity in prevention efforts and AIDS health services.
Workers living in American inner cities have more difficulty finding jobs than do suburban workers.
Fair Housing Act
The Fair Housing Act (also known as the Civil Rights Act) of 1968 was passed in order to help protect minority individuals from the discriminatory practices of financial institutions and agents.
The Human Relations Commissions of Pennsylvania adopted guidelines regarding redlining. The guidelines demonstrate practices that are to be prohibited in the selling of property to people.
Community Reinvestment Act
This act was designed to increase the availability of credit and financial services to lower income and minority borrowers and their communities and to improve on the ways that depository institutions approach lending in these communities.  Although not Ill intended, this act ended up creating first known methods of segregation that are still active today. These active lines of discrimination are still prevalent. Redlining set the grounds for what became known as Ethnic Enclaves, closed off pockets of land that were provided with less financial resources and seen to have little to no monetary value.
Redlining has a multiplicity of effects on the way our systems are set up today. Financial implications, benefits and public safety regulations impact the way that people who live in the "Hood", (often people of color) have come to relate to themselves and society. Hood Culture is reflective of the ways people of color have come to survive due to the impacts of redlining. They have had to become an adaptive people in order to make a livelihood for themselves and their families. Redlining, through years of systematic oppression, social engineering and segregative practices has destabilized communities; them not being provided much to better their own economic mobility. Researchers and Economist throughout the years have questioned if these maps actually influenced the development of urban neighborhoods (aka "the Hood") over the course of the 20th century to now?
The economists now believe that appraisers ... weren't merely identifying disparities that already existed in the 1930s, and that were likely to worsen anyway. The lines they helped draw, based in large part on the belief that the presence of blacks and other minorities would undermine property values, altered what would happen in these communities for years to come. Maps alone didn't create segregated and unequal cities today. But the role they played was pivotal. The maps became self-fulfilling prophesies, as "hazardous" neighborhoods — "redlined" ones — were starved of investment and deteriorated further in ways that most likely also fed white flight and rising racial segregation.
The culture of the hood is typically seen in a negative light; one consistent with drugs, poverty, single parent households, oversized families, violence, immigration, prostitution, overcrowding, scarcity, survival, territory, gangs, the list goes on. However, all of these things operating out of redlined communities is not by happenstance. Something important to note is the cycle of redlining. Active racism and segregation help to funnel many of these things into the hood. To give an example, early studies surrounding the crack cocaine epidemic show that there's a large influx of crack cocaine in impoverished neighborhoods while pure cocaine revolves largely in more affluent neighborhoods (being that it is more expensive than crack). However, crack cocaine has a longer jail sentence and penalty then that of pure cocaine. With crack cocaine being a popular choice within communities of color, we see minorities being incarcerated a longer rates for crack cocaine then those who are found in possession of pure cocaine. Similarly, we note the same effect in health care. Geographically speaking, there are an overage of liquor stores and fast food stores in these hoods as opposed to the healthier choice options found in affluent communities. There is also a shortage of doctors office, farmers markets and hospitals. These are just a few of the disparities to highlight.
Hood culture emerges out of these experiences. The culture generally being that of not trusting anyone, especially the white man. Youth learn to care for themselves in the hood and then mature into adults that raise their kids to do the same. Nevertheless, there still exist a strong sense of community building in the hood as well. With the overcrowding of apartment complexes in the hood it becomes increasingly difficult not to know your neighbor. People in the hood have a tendency to support their local mom & pop shops and entrepreneurism. There also tends to be support from elders in the community who push their young to do better; academic encouragement towards higher education vs. staying on the street.
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- Mapping Inequality: Redlining in New Deal America
- File a housing discrimination complaint
- Learn more about housing discrimination
- HOLC Maps for several U.S. cities
- Redlining in Philadelphia. Amy Hillier, PhD
- Redlining, and Neighborhood Appraisals in Philadelphia
- "The Color of Money": Bill Dedman received the Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting in 1989 for this series of articles, which described racial discrimination in mortgage lending in the Atlanta area.
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