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Old Posted Feb 13, 2022, 5:35 PM
iheartthed iheartthed is offline
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Five Thirty Eight: The Lasting Legacy Of Redlining

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Five Thirty Eight: The Lasting Legacy Of Redlining

We looked at 138 formerly redlined cities and found most were still segregated — just like they were designed to be.
By Ryan Best and Elena Mejía

In 1939, officials working with the Home Owners’ Loan Corporation (HOLC) went to Cleveland, Ohio, as part of the agency’s national effort to grade neighborhoods based on their perceived mortgage-lending risk.

One of the neighborhoods that officials visited — now known mostly as Fairfax — was 55 percent Black, and as such, they gave this area a “D” grade, meaning they thought Fairfax was “hazardous,” or at high risk for defaulting on mortgage loans. In their report, HOLC officials concluded that property prices were trending down due to a “strong colored infiltration” and that there was a “detrimental change of ownership occupancy from white to colored.” Fairfax, like most metropolitan neighborhoods where Black people lived in the early 1900s, was then marked with red ink in the HOLC’s maps — a practice referred to as redlining.

It’s been over 80 years since the lines were drawn in Fairfax and over 50 years since the use of redlining was legally banned, but the impact of redlining is still felt in cities like Cleveland, where redlined neighborhoods are some of the most starkly segregated in the country.

But it’s not just Cleveland. In its 20 years of existence, the now-defunct HOLC drew hundreds of these maps across the country. In total, we analyzed the demographics of 138 metropolitan areas where HOLC drew maps, using data provided by the University of Richmond’s Mapping Inequality project and by the 2020 census. And we found that nearly all formerly redlined zones in the country are still disproportionately Black, Latino or Asian compared with their surrounding metropolitan area, while two-thirds of greenlined zones — neighborhoods that HOLC deemed “best” for mortgage lending — are still overwhelmingly white.

“The redlining maps are like the Rosetta stone of American cities,” said LaDale Winling, a professor of history at Virginia Tech and one of the researchers behind the Mapping Inequality project. Winling told us that these maps were used to codify and institutionalize practices that had already been ongoing at a more scattershot level within the real estate industry.

Link: https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/redlining/
Click the link to see the historical redlining maps and current demographic segregation of a few cities.
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Old Posted Feb 14, 2022, 1:49 PM
eschaton eschaton is offline
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Originally Posted by iheartthed View Post
Click the link to see the historical redlining maps and current demographic segregation of a few cities.
I've come to believe that the whole discussion regarding redlining is confusing correlation with causation TBH.

I mean, my own adopted city of Pittsburgh is the first one featured here. They show the areas which were redlined. This includes my old neighborhood of Lawrenceville, which never experienced appreciable white flight, remaining a working-class white neighborhood until it gentrified around 10-15 years ago. Houses now go for ten times what they sold for in the 1990s.

It's not the only example either. Lots of portions of the city which are now desirable, including South Side Flats and much of the lower North Side were redlined. Nearly everything residential that had rowhouses was redlined during that period.

You can see this on the redlining maps elsewhere as well. Although other things played a role, in every city, basically all of the inner-ring residential neighborhoods closest to downtown were redlined. This likely in part reflects the reality of the time period - downtowns were dirty places, and living nearby was not desirable. But it also in part probably reflects the mid 20th century ideal that the inner urban neighborhoods should be cleared of residents to make way for non-residential uses.

Certainly, there was a racial dimension to redlining as well, with areas redlined in part because of historic or rising black populations. But practically speaking there's little difference locally between the black areas which were redlined and those in the next two tiers - other than white flight starting a bit later. Not so much in Pittsburgh, but on the maps of Philly and Detroit there are some blighted neighborhoods within the "desirable" rating.
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Old Posted Feb 14, 2022, 3:31 PM
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Steely Dan Steely Dan is online now
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i find it interesting that, according to the map in the article, chicago's former "hazardous" zones line-up very closely with the city as a whole today, demographically speaking.

in both cases, the "big 3" are roughly 30% each, with asians/others making up the remaining 10%.


chicago overall 2020:
- white: 31.4%
- latino: 29.8%
- black: 28.7%
- asian: 6.9%
- other: 2.6%


chicago's "hazardous" zones 2020:
- white: 26.8%
- latino: 31.8%
- black: 31.6%
- asian: 6.8%
- other: 3.0%
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Last edited by Steely Dan; Feb 14, 2022 at 5:18 PM.
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