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September 27, 2012: Roundtable on Redlining

Roundtable discussion on the practice of redlining in Minneapolis real estate with Ann Juergens (William Mitchell College of Law), Jeff Crump (Housing Studies), Katherine Solomonson (Architecture), and Greg Donofrio (Architecture). Part of the University Symposium on Site and Incitement.

Redlining is the practice of arbitrarily denying or limiting financial services to specific neighborhoods, generally because its residents are people of color or are poor. While discriminatory practices existed in the banking and insurance industries well before the 1930s, the New Deal’s Home Owners’ Loan Corporation (HOLC) instituted a redlining policy by developing color-coded maps of American cities that used racial criteria to categorize lending and insurance risks. New, affluent, racially homogeneous housing areas received green lines while black, minority, and poor white neighborhoods were often circumscribed by red lines denoting their undesirability.

Financial institutions such as banks and insurance agencies continued to use redlining to discriminate against potential homeowners and to penalize those seeking insurance well into the 1970s and 80s. Even after a number of prominent lawsuits in the 1990s, small business in black and minority neighborhoods continue to receive fewer loans than comparable white areas.  At the same time, predatory home lending policies have increasingly targeted black and other minority consumers for subprime mortgages, pushing more expensive products on them even if they could qualify for less onerous payment plans.

This talk is also available as an audio download (.mp3 – 59.4 MB) or as a video podcast (.m4v – 293.8 MB). To subscribe to an audio podcast of Site and Incitement events, copy this link into iTunes or any other podcasting software.

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