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Redlining

A HOLC 1936 security map of Philadelphia showing redlining of lower income neighborhoods.[1] Households and businesses in the red zones could not get mortgages or business loans.

Redlining is the practice of denying, or increasing the cost of services such as banking, insurance, access to jobs,[2] access to health care,[3] or even supermarkets[4] to residents in certain, often racially determined,[5] areas. The term "redlining" was coined in the late 1960s by John McKnight, a Northwestern University sociologist and community activist.[6] It describes the practice of marking a red line on a map to delineate the area where banks would not invest; later the term was applied to discrimination against a particular group of people (usually by race or sex) no matter the geography. During the heyday of redlining, the areas most frequently discriminated against were black inner city neighborhoods. Through at least the 1990s this practice meant that banks would often lend to lower income whites but not to middle or upper income blacks.[7]

Reverse redlining occurs when a lender or insurer particularly targets minority consumers, not to deny them loans or insurance, but rather to charge them more than would be charged to a similarly situated majority consumer.[8][9]

Contents

[edit] History

Part of a series of articles on
Racial Segregation
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Segregation in the US
Black Codes â€’ Jim Crow laws â€’ Redlining â€’ Racial steering â€’ Blockbusting â€’ White flight â€’ Black flight â€’ Gentrification â€’ Sundown towns â€’ Proposition 14 â€’ Indian Appropriations â€’ Immigration Act of 1924 â€’ Separate but equal
During World War II
Japanese American internment â€’ Italian American internment â€’ German American internment
Other
Ghettos

Although in the United States informal discrimination and segregation have always existed,[citation needed] the practice called "redlining" began with the National Housing Act of 1934, which established the Federal Housing Administration (FHA).[10] The federal government contributed to the early decay of inner city neighborhoods by withholding mortgage capital and making it difficult for these neighborhoods to attract and retain families able to purchase homes.[11] 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. Such maps defined many minority neighborhoods in cities as ineligible to receive financing. The maps were based on assumptions about the community, not accurate assessments of an individual's or household's ability to satisfy standard lending criteria. Since African-Americans were unwelcome in white neighborhoods, which frequently instituted racial restrictive covenants to keep them out, the policy effectively meant that blacks could not secure mortgage loans at all. At various times the practice also affected other ethnic groups, including Latinos, Asians, and Jews. The assumptions in redlining resulted in a large increase in residential racial segregation and urban decay in the United States. Urban planning historians theorize that the maps were used by private and public entities for years afterwards to deny loans to people in black communities.[10] However, 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.[12]

On the maps, the newest areas — those considered desirable for lending purposes — were outlined in blue and known as "Type A". These were typically affluent suburbs on the outskirts of cities. "Type B" neighborhoods 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.[10]

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, as well as covenants prohibiting black owners.[13][14]

[edit] Impact

Redlining paralyzed the housing market, lowered property values and further encouraged landlord abandonment. As abandonment increased, the population density became lower. Abandoned buildings would serve as havens for drug dealing and other illegal activity.[11]

The film Revolution '67 examines the practice of redlining that occurred in Newark, NJ in the 1960s.

[edit] Challenges

African American topics
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In the United States, the Fair Housing Act of 1968 was passed to fight the practice. It prohibited redlining when the criteria for redlining are based on race, religion, gender, familial status, disability, or ethnic origin. The Community Reinvestment Act of 1977 further required banks to apply the same lending criteria in all communities.[15] Although open redlining was made illegal in the 70s through community reinvestment legislation, the practice continued in less overt ways.,[11] and many allege that the redlining target group has shifted from African Americans to the LGBT community.[16][dubious ]

ShoreBank, a community-development bank in Chicago's South Shore neighborhood, was a part of the private-sector fight against redlining.[17] 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.[18] Many sources characterize ShoreBank's efforts as overwhelmingly inspirational and successful.[19] In a 1992 speech, then-Presidential candidate Bill Clinton called ShoreBank "the most important bank in America."[17]

[edit] Current issues

Dan Immergluck writes that in 2002 small businesses in black neighborhoods still received fewer loans, even after accounting for business density, business size, industrial mix, neighborhood income, and the credit quality of local businesses.[20] Gregory D. Squires wrote in 2003 that it is clear that race has long affected and continues to affect the policies and practices of the insurance industry.[21] Workers living in American inner cities have a harder time finding jobs than suburban workers.[22] Redlining has helped preserve segregated living patterns for blacks and whites in the United States, because discrimination motivated by prejudice is often contingent on the racial composition of neighborhoods where the loan is sought 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. [23][24][25]

[edit] Mortgages

Reverse redlining occurs when a lender or insurer particularly targets minority consumers, not to deny them loans or insurance, but rather to charge them more than would be charged to a similarly situated majority consumer, specifically marketing the most expensive and onerous loan products. These communities had largely been ignored by most lenders just a couple decades earlier. However these same financial institutions in the 2000s saw black communities as fertile ground for subprime mortgages. Wells Fargo for instance partnered with churches in black communities, where the pastor would deliver "wealth buildling" seminars in their sermons, and the bank would make a donation to the church in return for every new mortgage application. There was pressure on both sides, as working-class blacks wanted a part of the nation’s home-owning trend. [26][27]

A survey of two districts of similar incomes, one being largely white and the other largely black, found that 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 low-income whites. Loan officers were also apparently aware that what they were doing was exploitative, as they referred to blacks as “mud people” and to subprime lending as “ghetto loans.”[28][29] [30] [31] 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 recent years while subprime loans were not sought out by borrowers, brokers and telemarketers actively pushed them. 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.[32]

Several state attorney generals have begun investigating these practices which may violate fair lending laws, and the N.A.A.C.P. have filed a class-action lawsuit charging systematic racial discrimination by more than a dozen banks.


Redlining Property Type. Other forms of redlining include the nullification of mortgage loans based off of internal bank policies and procedures that fail to recognize complex property types. Co-Op and Condo Conversions in New York City are one such example. These building types are often made up of legacy rent controlled and rent stabilized units or may contain another protected class of tennant. Lenders who practice redlining will often sight sponsor concentration or high rental concentration as an excuse to "redline" the property type. Such internal policies which run counter to known state and municipal laws and statutes are an illegal form of silent judgment on the economic and racial makeup of a building seeking to convert and improve a neighborhood or community.

[edit] Retail

Retail redlining is a spatially discriminatory practice among retailers, of not serving certain areas, based on their ethnic-minority composition, rather than on economic criteria, such as the potential profitability of operating in those areas. Consequently, consumers in these areas often find themselves "vulnerable" because no other retailers will serve them. They may be exploited by other, often smaller, retailers who charge them higher prices and/or offer them inferior goods.[33]

[edit] Credit cards

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.[34] Many believe policies of credit card companies such as American Express that reduce credit lines of individuals that make purchases at retailers frequented by so-called "high-risk" customers to be akin to redlining.[35]

[edit] Insurance

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.[36] Home-insurance agents are generally able to detect the race of someone who contacts them by telephone. This information affects the services provided to those who inquire about purchasing a home-insurance policy. This type of discrimination is called linguistic profiling.[37] There have also been concerns raised about redlining in the automotive insurance industry.[38] Credit-based insurance scores have been shown to produce unequal results by ethnic group. In July 2007, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) released a study showing African American and Hispanic consumers to be substantially overrepresented in the lowest scores (highest rates) and substantially underrepresented in the highest scores (lowest rates). Since insurance scores also effectively predicted risk within each ethnic group, the FTC concluded that the scoring models are not solely proxies for redlining. [39] The report was disputed by representatives of the Consumer Federation of America, the National Fair Housing Alliance, the National Consumer Law Center, and the Center for Economic Justice, for relying on data provided by the insurance industry. [40]

[edit] Student loans

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, alleging that Sallie Mae discriminates against African American and Hispanic private student loan applicants. [12]

The case further alleges that the factors Sallie Mae uses to underwrite private student loans cause a disparate impact on students attending schools with disproportionate minority populations. The suit also alleges that Sallie Mae fails to properly disclose loan terms to private student loan borrowers. The case is in litigation.

[edit] Environmental racism

Policies related to redlining and urban decay can also act as a form of environmental racism, which in turn have an impact on 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.[41] This may have an indirect impact on health, since young people have fewer places to play and adults have fewer opportunities for exercise.[41]

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.[42] Institutionalized racism affects general health care as well as the quality of AIDS health intervention and services in minority communities. The overrepresentation 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.[43]

[edit] Liquorlining

Instead of denial of services to low-income neighborhoods, sometimes the exact opposite can occur as well when it is believed to be the most lucrative option for the service providers. When those services are believed to have adverse effects on a community, that can be considered to be a form of "reverse redlining." The term "liquorlining" is sometimes used[44] to describe the practice of encouraging very high density of liquor stores and other alcohol outlets in low income and/or minority communities relative to surrounding areas. However, unlike redlining, this is usually not illegal.

[edit] See also

[edit] References

[edit] Footnotes

  1. ^ The HOLC maps are part of the records of the FHLBB (RG195) at the National Archives II.
  2. ^ Racial Discrimination and Redlining in Cities
  3. ^ See: Race and health
  4. ^ In poor health: Supermarket redlining and urban nutrition, Elizabeth Eisenhauer, GeoJournal Volume 53, Number 2 / February, 2001
  5. ^ How East New York Became a Ghetto by Walter Thabit. ISBN 0-8147-8267-1. Page 42.
  6. ^ Sagawa, Shirley; Segal, Eli (1999). Common Interest, Common Good: Creating Value Through Business and Social Sector Partnerships. Harvard Business Press. pp. 30. ISBN 0875848486. http://books.google.com/books?id=GNKWaFlQtxgC. Retrieved 2010-01-04. 
  7. ^ Dedman, Bill (1988-05-01). "The Color of Money". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. http://powerreporting.com/color/. Retrieved 2009-01-05. 
  8. ^ [1]
  9. ^ [2]
  10. ^ a b c Jackson, Kenneth T. Crabgrass Frontier: The Suburbanization of the United States. New York: Oxford University Press, 1985.
  11. ^ a b c When Work Disappears: The World of the New Urban Poor By William Julius Wilson. 1996. ISBN 0-679-72417-6
  12. ^ Crossney and Bartelt 2005 Urban GeographyCrossney and Bartelt 2006 Housing Policy Debate
  13. ^ Principles to Guide Housing Policy at the Beginning of the Millennium, Michael Schill & Susan Wachter, Cityscape
  14. ^ "Racial" Provisions of FHA Underwriting Manual, 1938

    Recommended restrictions should include provision for the following: Prohibition of the occupancy of properties except by the race for which they are intended …Schools should be appropriate to the needs of the new community and they should not be attended in large numbers by inharmonious racial groups. Federal Housing Administration, Underwriting Manual: Underwriting and Valuation Procedure Under Title II of the National Housing Act With Revisions to February, 1938 (Washington, D.C.), Part II, Section 9, Rating of Location.

  15. ^ Comeback Cities: A Blueprint for Urban Neighborhood Revival By Paul S. Grogan, Tony Proscio. ISBN 0-8133-3952-9. Published 2002. Page 114.

    The goal was not to relax lending restrictions but rather to get banks to apply the same criteria to residents in the inner-city as in the suburbs.

  16. ^ Redlining Gay Neighborhoods, 2002
  17. ^ a b Douthwaite, Richard. "HOW A BANK CAN TRANSFORM A NEIGHBOURHOOD", "Short Circuit". Retrieved on January 8, 2007
  18. ^ Thomsen, Mark. "ShoreBank Surpasses $1 Billion in Community Development Investment", "Social Funds", 2001-11-1. Retrieved on January 8, 2007.
  19. ^ Wisniewski, Mary. "Milton Davis, community banking pioneer", "Chicago Sun-Times", 2005-16-2. Retrieved on January 9, 2007.
  20. ^ Redlining Redux Urban Affairs Review, Vol. 38, No. 1, 22–41 (2002)
  21. ^ Racial Profiling, Insurance Style: Insurance Redlining and the Uneven Development of Metropolitan Areas Journal of Urban Affairs 25 (4), 391–410.
  22. ^ Racial Discrimination and Redlining in Cities Yves Zenou and Nicolas Boccard 1999
  23. ^ Stephen R Holloway (1998) Exploring the Neighborhood Contingency of Race Discrimination in Mortgage Lending in Columbus, Ohio Annals of the Association of American Geographers 88 (2), 252–276.
  24. ^ [3]
  25. ^ [4]
  26. ^ [5]
  27. ^ [6]
  28. ^ [7]
  29. ^ [8]
  30. ^ Minority families face wave of foreclosures Consumer groups urge more 'teeth' in laws combating predators, [9], accessed Dec. 22, 2009
  31. ^ Consumer groups urge more 'teeth' in laws combating predators, accessed Dec. 22, 2009
  32. ^ [10]
  33. ^ Retail Redlining: Definition, Theory, Typology, and Measurement Denver D’Rozario Journal of Macromarketing, Vol. 25, No. 2, 175-186 (2005)
  34. ^ Cohen-Cole, Ethan, "Credit Card Redlining" (2008). FRB of Boston Quantitative Analysis Unit Working Paper No. QAU08-1 Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1098403 http://www.bos.frb.org/bankinfo/qau/wp/2008/qau0801.htm
  35. ^ [11]
  36. ^ Gregory D. Squires (2003) Racial Profiling, Insurance Style: Insurance Redlining and the Uneven Development of Metropolitan Areas Journal of Urban Affairs Volume 25 Issue 4 Page 391-410, November 2003
  37. ^ Linguistic Profiling: A Continuing Tradition of Discrimination in the Home Insurance Industry? Gregory D. Squires Urban Affairs Review, Vol. 41, No. 3, 400-415 (2006)
  38. ^ Michigan to crack down on uninsured drivers By Karen Bouffard The Detroit News
  39. ^ Credit-Based Insurance Scores: Impacts on Consumers of Automobile Insurance, Federal Trade Commission (July 2007)
  40. ^ Consumers Dispute FTC Report on Insurance Credit Scoring www.consumeraffairs.com (July 2007)
  41. ^ a b Minority Communities Need More Parks, Report Says by Angela Rowen The Berkeley Daily Planet
  42. ^ Urban desertification, public health and public order: 'planned shrinkage', violent death, substance abuse and AIDS in the Bronx. Wallace R. Soc Sci Med, 1990 - ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
  43. ^ AIDS and racism in America. Hutchinson J., Journal of the National Medical Association, 1992 Feb;
  44. ^ http://google.com/search?q=cache:2idAdUp_A1AJ:www.woodstockinst.org/publications/download/liquorlining:-liquor-store-concentration-and-community-development-in-lower%2511income-cook-county-neighborhoods/+liquorlining&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

[edit] Notations

  • Frederick Babcock "Neighborhood Life Cycle" theory

[edit] External links



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