Tracing the history of housing discrimination and its impacts…

A fascinating online tool shows the historical use of “redlining” to determine home mortgage eligibility. Given the critical link between housing and health, this could be a very valuable tool for exploring the roots of health disparities. A PHS 795 student writes:

 a Interactive Redlining Map Zooms In On America’s History Of Discrimination

In the early 20th century, the federal government categorized neighborhoods, based largely on race, to determine mortgage eligibility. A new site combines the maps — and their revealing backstories.

This article discusses the history or red lining, which led to many of the inequalities we have talked about in class, and a new interactive map that has been created to show the original maps overlaid on modern streets.  These maps were made as part of the New Deal in the second half of the 1930’s by the Home Owners Loan Corporation and were used to determine who should be granted home loans.  The rankings were largely based on the race of the people living in the area being evaluated.  These policies led to people from minority groups not being able to accumulate wealth through homeowner ship, which in turn leads to not being able to accumulate wealth down through subsequent generations.


One thought on “Tracing the history of housing discrimination and its impacts…

  1. Great article! This is an amazing tool to see how social and environmental factors lead to poor health outcomes. It allows us to see the historical relationship of racial discrimination and housing to the continued discrimination that led up to the foreclosure crisis in the 2000s, where many banks like Wells Fargo who gave out a greater amount of high-risk mortgages (Adjustable rate mortgages and balloon payment structures) in low-income and predominately black neighborhoods. The rise of foreclosures made neighborhoods more unsafe, and leads to even more health disparities.


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