Philadelphia's redlining legacy persists
Residential segregation is still a reality in Philadelphia more than 80 years after redlining maps were drawn.
- But the city's formerly redlined areas no longer line up with where communities of color live.
State of play: More white people are moving into formerly redlined zones in Philly, FiveThirtyEight and ABC News reports.
- As these areas gentrify, property values increase, and lower-income people, many of whom are Black, can't afford to stay.
- Philadelphia is among seven cities that account for almost half of all gentrification in the country, according to a 2019 study from the National Community Reinvestment Coalition.
Catch up fast: In the 1930s, the Home Owners' Loan Corporation graded neighborhoods with high Black populations as "hazardous" or at a high risk of defaulting on mortgage loans — marking them with red ink on their maps.
- Philadelphia's legacy of redlining — the practice of banks denying loans to buyers in Black neighborhoods — reinforced de facto segregation despite the Northeast never having legal segregation.
- Anti-discrimination laws like the Fair Housing Act of 1968 helped, but disparities remain widespread.
Of note: Residential segregation correlates with differences in income, poverty, education and health care.
Between the lines: Black homeownership has been declining in Philly over the past 30 years.
- And it doesn't help that Black Philadelphians still have a harder time securing loans compared to their white counterparts.
Even if Black Philadelphians secure a loan, they're forced to compete with cash buyers, largely investors.
- Cash transactions have been dominating the housing market across North and West Philadelphia, where large populations of Black and Hispanic non-white people live.
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