Redlining Has Lasting Effects On Black Neighborhoods Today

A map of redlining in Sacremento
Shiavon Chatman
June 1, 2021

Carlette Duffy’s home was being severely undervalued. She suspected it was racially motivated, so for her third home appraisal she had her white friend take her place. The value of her home shot up almost $150,000! She filed a complaint – but the problem is way bigger than just her.

Race impacts home values today more than it did 40 years ago! Real estate remains plagued with racism and anti-Blackness. But wasn’t “redlining” a thing of the past? Not so fast.

Redlining was a mapping practice used to uphold systemic racism. It denied Black neighborhoods funds, loans, and services, and classified them as “dangerous” whether or not it was true. The tactic far undervalued Black neighborhoods, creating a massive barrier to wealth-building. 

Many of the affected areas have never recovered.

Since the 1980s, Black homeowners have missed out on $200,000 on average in wealth because of the devaluing of their homes. This further contributes to the wealth gap – these racist practices were optimized to benefit white wealth, and continue despite redlining being banned!

Just because it’s illegal to undervalue a Black person’s home doesn’t mean it isn’t happening, and it’s a massive part of the wealth gap. We must challenge this system and advocate for ourselves – it isn’t made for us, but with enough knowledge we can still thrive despite it!

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