How the Fair Housing Act Failed Black Homeowners

How the Fair Housing Act Failed Black Homeowners, Kriston Capps and Kate Rabinowitz, City Lab, April 11, 2018, available here

Fifty years after the Fair Housing Act, the full historical weight of banks’ discriminatory practices is still evident in the persistent racial segregation of communities. While discrimination in lending is illegal, disparities in lending are enormous. According to an investigation by Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting earlier this year, African Americans and Latinos continue to be denied mortgages at far higher rates than whites in 61 metro areas. Using the data from Reveal and other sources, CityLab has visualized how that discrimination manifests itself in two of those cities.

Mapping where banks approve or reject mortgages reveals a stark and dramatic pattern of disparity: Where de jure segregation was once the rule, de facto segregation still persists. For example, in Jacksonville, new home mortgages still fall within the very same lines that banks drew to prevent black families from moving into white neighborhoods or building wealth some 80 years ago.

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