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Old 05-23-2014, 06:14 PM
 
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This article and its related study focus on California, but redlining was used throughout the United States, and one of its major results was setting the stage for demolition of inner cities. HOLC redlining determined whether someone could get an FHA loan, and FHA's loan policy became most banks' home loan policy, making it the de facto means of determining whether a buyer could obtain a home loan. Redlining survived long after the Supreme Court cases that broke down the walls of housing discrimination in the 1950s and 1970s, in part because banks assumed it was just about loan risk, rather than discrimination based on race. Denying someone a home loan based on redlining was based on the neighborhood, rather than the race of the borrower, and it was harder to claim that a bank was prejudiced against the "race" of a neighborhood than an individual. These rules were finally broken down in the mid-1970s, often by young people who wanted to fix up old houses in inner cities but could not get loans due to archaic redlining practices.

One of the second-order effects of redlining was 1950s/60s redevelopment that destroyed neighborhoods and relocated the occupants. A redlined neighborhood could only lose that status if the people who gave it that status were removed, and their homes demolished. This destroyed a lot of American downtowns, not because the buildings could not be salvaged but because of an arbitrary classification scheme.

The website is worth exploration: it's clearer to see exactly where redlining took place by looking at a map. Clicking on different neighborhood tracts explains the reasons why each red zone was redlined--often due to "infiltration" by "subversive elements" (meaning, some of the people there aren't white.)

Quote:
One of the most heinous of these policies was introduced by the creation of the Federal Housing Administration in 1934, and lasted until 1968. Otherwise celebrated for making homeownership accessible to white people by guaranteeing their loans, the FHA explicitly refused to back loans to black people or even other people who lived near black people. As TNC puts it, "Redlining destroyed the possibility of investment wherever black people lived."
To understand the depth of the racism of these regulations, you have to read the descriptions of the grades that FHA gave to neighborhoods from A (green) to D (red). I've included them all at the end of this post, but here is the "C" classification (emphasis added), which is where my Oakland neighborhood fell (keep in mind restrictions as used here, means clauses, written into the title, not to sell to non-whites).
Link to article:

The Racist Housing Policy That Made Your Neighborhood - CityLab

Link to study website with detailed city redlining maps and further documents:

T-RACES: Testbed for the Redlining Archives of California's Exclusionary Spaces
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Old 05-23-2014, 06:51 PM
 
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Yeah, this is the problem with making inferences based on correlation.

All of these red areas were redlined and, with the exception of a few small pockets of african-american neighborhoods were almost entirely irish, italian or polish.
http://cml.upenn.edu/redlining/images/HOLC_1936-800.jpg
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Old 05-23-2014, 06:58 PM
 
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There actually used to be restrictive covenants forbidding the sale of homes to African Americans. Of course they were later struck down by courts.
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Old 05-23-2014, 07:51 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drive carephilly View Post
Yeah, this is the problem with making inferences based on correlation.

All of these red areas were redlined and, with the exception of a few small pockets of african-american neighborhoods were almost entirely irish, italian or polish.
http://cml.upenn.edu/redlining/images/HOLC_1936-800.jpg
Who weren't considered "white" at the time. Ethnic white neighborhoods were also redlined, as well as Asian and Mexican ones.
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Old 05-23-2014, 07:52 PM
 
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Originally Posted by pvande55 View Post
There actually used to be restrictive covenants forbidding the sale of homes to African Americans. Of course they were later struck down by courts.
Part of what made a neighborhood "green" (the highest classification) was racial covenants. They didn't just restrict sales to blacks--they often forbade sales to anyone who wasn't Caucasian, which, as noted above, could also mean some Europeans.
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Old 05-23-2014, 08:21 PM
 
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Originally Posted by wburg View Post
Who weren't considered "white" at the time.
Sorry dude. That isn't true either.

I have mostly southern italian ancestors, two irish and one russian. I've traced them back on the census and through immigration from the 1880s onward and all of them were always considered white . . . and so were all of their neighbors who were of the same background.

The only distinction ever made for Italians was whether they were from northern or southern italy. The census forms said "Race - White' 'nationality - southern italian' and that's only because, at that point, Italy had only been a country for 10 years, no one thought it was going to last, and most people's birth certificates and travel documents were issued by the Kingdom of Naples.

Redlining had to do with poverty and the quality of the housing stock. There was a big correlation between the two and, of course, back then a lot of people assumed that the correlation proved causality as in 'they're poor because they're italian'

Of course the reason they were poor is because they went to New York with nothing . . . which is mostly the same for any other immigrant group who comes to the US and mostly the same for African-Americans who left the south.
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Old 05-23-2014, 08:45 PM
 
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One can look and a lot of races had same treatment. I remember my mother who was raised in Penn. stating that she and her friends where forbidden in late 20's from dating any Italians. They were all thought to be criminally associated by most other parents.one only has to look at now northern cities had ethnic neighborhoods to see that still present.
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Old 05-23-2014, 10:48 PM
 
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The legacy of red-lining is certainly in wealth destruction and that fell disproportionately on african-americans. I was mostly disagreeing with the premise in the OP that AAs couldn't get an FHA loan or a mortgage because it just isn't true.

Segregation in the military, which kept a lot of AA men out of the army and thus ineligible for getting a VA loan, had a much bigger impact IMO because while a lot of white people were getting free money to move to the suburbs a lot of AA families were stuck in declining cities and that was in part because of a shortfall of VA loans and in part because of racist FHA rules . . . and de-industrialization would've happened with or without racism.

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Originally Posted by texdav View Post
One can look and a lot of races had same treatment. I remember my mother who was raised in Penn. stating that she and her friends where forbidden in late 20's from dating any Italians. They were all thought to be criminally associated by most other parents.one only has to look at now northern cities had ethnic neighborhoods to see that still present.
Most kids were forbidden from dating italians because italians were (are) catholic. If italians married non-italians back in the day it was mostly irish with a smattering of polish.

But even then the irish and italians went head-to-head over churches and other institutions - famously in South Philly when an Irish mob blocked Italians from entering St. Paul's.
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Old 05-23-2014, 11:08 PM
 
8,328 posts, read 14,558,119 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drive carephilly View Post
The legacy of red-lining is certainly in wealth destruction and that fell disproportionately on african-americans. I was mostly disagreeing with the premise in the OP that AAs couldn't get an FHA loan or a mortgage because it just isn't true.
In that case you're misreading the OP. It isn't that African Americans couldn't get an FHA loan--it's that nobody, regardless of race, get an FHA loan in African American neighborhoods, or poor Italian neighborhoods, because they were redlined. It was the place that was discriminated against--not the lender. A lot of old neighborhoods were thus doomed to decay because homeowners or aspiring businesspeople couldn't get a loan to reinvest and repair those properties, unless they already had enough capital or credit, and thus probably didn't live in a poor black neighborhood.

Quote:
Segregation in the military, which kept a lot of AA men out of the army and thus ineligible for getting a VA loan, had a much bigger impact IMO because while a lot of white people were getting free money to move to the suburbs a lot of AA families were stuck in declining cities and that was in part because of a shortfall of VA loans and in part because of racist FHA rules . . . and de-industrialization would've happened with or without racism.
A different factor in housing discrimination, one of many.

Quote:
Most kids were forbidden from dating italians because italians were (are) catholic. If italians married non-italians back in the day it was mostly irish with a smattering of polish.

But even then the irish and italians went head-to-head over churches and other institutions - famously in South Philly when an Irish mob blocked Italians from entering St. Paul's.
The Irish became white a bit before the Italians. One of the rules of the club of being white is you have to stop the next guy from getting in the door. I have Italian ancestors too--but they came to the US a couple of decades later, and according to Italian and Portuguese families of their era I have talked with, they weren't considered white--or, at best, a step or two above Blacks, Asians or Mexicans but quite a bit below "the Teutonic races." One thing that often gets missed is that the United States actually grew more racist in the early 1910s/1920s--racial covenants, national immigration quotas, and redlining all came from the early 20th century.

Take a look at the tract by tract reports from Oakland:

http://salt.unc.edu/T-RACES/data/oak/ad/ad0117.pdf

"This area is similar to C-19 in appearance, but infiltration of Negroes necessitates hazardous rating."

http://salt.unc.edu/T-RACES/data/oak/ad/ad0110.pdf

"The majority of people in this district are of Latin extraction: Italians, Portuguese, etc...However, Negroes have not settled to any great extent in this area, and there are practically none north of University Avenue. There are a great number of Orientals, however, scattered over the entire area...Loans in this area should be upon a highly restricted basis."

Race of the neighborhood wasn't the only factor--other factors like mixture of businesses and residences, small lot sizes, and old houses could cause a neighborhood to be redlined. But it was a key factor that resulted in redlining of neighborhoods that were otherwise not in physical decay or risk. This report from Sacramento is instructive:

http://salt.unc.edu/T-RACES/data/sac/ad/ad0060.pdf

"Maintenance is high-grade for type of neighborhood. Is the "bon ton" Oriental and Negro residential district of the city. A steady demand for dwellings for purchase and rent exists."
By the reviewer's judgment, even the part of town considered fancy for nonwhites was given a "high red" grade due to its "subversive racial elements."
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Old 05-24-2014, 06:43 AM
 
Location: Norfolk, VA
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Not sure if anyone else on the board is from Akron, OH but my relatives have always maintained that (redlining) is the primary reason why they lived where they did in the city. At the time Blacks were not allowed in North Akron, and, it being "opened up" to Blacks before other parts of the city, like say some parts of the West side that were more expensive, as that part of the city is more suburban, everyone that could left other parts of the city and moved there. What that was I don't know, had to be parts of the East side, as the South side is predominately White as well, but on a much lower socioeconomic strata than the North.

From my own personal observations a lot of cities are like this: West side is the suburban part of the city, South side urban and trashy, Black, White, Latino, whatever, North side is working class and the East side is the ghetto. Seems consistent with a lot of cities I've been in, or could just be a coincidence.
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