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housing



  • Is Historic Preservation Ruining American Cities?

    by Jacob Anbinder

    Historic preservation laws often have a loose relationship to the actual historic significance of buildings, and an even looser relationship to the interests of cities in meeting their residents' social needs. 



  • How the "Jewel of Harlem" Became Unlivable

    Opened in 1967, Esplanade Gardens’ co-op apartments were seen as a way for Black families to acquire intergenerational wealth and gnaw away at centuries-long inequality in housing.Then it started falling apart.



  • The Invention of America's Most Dangerous Idea

    by Gene Slater

    How did a right-wing conception of "freedom" rooted in the individual's absolute property rights supersede an idea of freedom based in social equality? Blame the real estate industry. 



  • How Academia Laid the Groundwork for Redlining

    by Todd Michney and LaDale Winling

    Richard T. Ely and his student Ernest McKinley Fisher pushed the National Association of Real Estate Boards to adopt "the unsupported hypothesis that Black people's very presence inexorably lowered property values," tying the private real estate industry to racial segregation. 



  • "No There There": Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor on the Future of the Left

    "I’m sitting in the car, barreling down the highway, asking myself, 'What happened in my life that has put me in this position where I have to like listen to this &%$*@ nonsense?' I needed to leave. But like most people, I needed the health insurance."



  • When the Real Estate Industry Led the Fight to Defend Segregation

    California's battle over fair housing legislation in the 1960s shows a key development of modern conservatism: raising property rights to an absolute and brooking no infringement on it, particularly for the sake of racial equality, argues Gene Slater, author of a new book on fair housing. 



  • Redlining Happened, but Not Exactly the Way We've Thought it Did

    New economic research reinforces an argument made by historian Amy Hillier, that federal agencies didn't invent "redlining" but responded to widespread public prejudices that imagined Black residents as threats to neighborhood property value. 



  • Homelessness and Eviction in the Land of the Free

    by Liz Theoharis

    Homeless activists in the 1980s and 1990s began to push back against the narrative that mass homelessness reflected the defects of individuals instead of a profit-driven housing system. As the Supreme Court has thrown out a federal eviction moratorium, that lesson is more relevant than ever. 



  • Los Angeles Pioneered American Racial Segregation

    by Gene Slater

    The real estate industry acted as a cartel to limit the free market in housing to preserve racial homogeneity, claiming it was necessary to protect property values. This form of housing segregation was tested in the booming market of 1920s California and spread nationwide. 



  • House Hunting While Black: Racism Sabotages the American Dream

    by Keisha N. Blain

    "The current rate of mortgage denials — and the interrelated patterns of housing discrimination and exclusion — is rooted in American history. Discrimination against Black Americans applying for mortgage loans is not new."



  • The Odd Place of one Savannah Neighborhood in the History of Redlining

    by Todd Michney

    The history of the Cuyler-Brownville area shows that HOLC risk assessments and Federal lending practices were responsive to local banks' perception of lending risk and desire for profit, factors which resulted in the rarity of an African American community retaining a "green" rating. 



  • Redlining, Race, and the Color of Money

    by Garrett Dash Nelson

    "Redlining maps reveal how the federal government managed risk for capital—a role that has perpetuated inequality long after the end of explicit discrimination in the housing market."



  • The Housing Market is Booming but Remains Deeply Unequal

    by LaDale Winling

    The standards and practices of real estate appraisal were developed in the context of white supremacy in the 1920s and since then have worked to make home ownership a path toward building wealth that has favored white Americans. 



  • Solving Homelessness Requires Getting the Problem Right

    by Ella Howard

    American policy initiatives to reduce homelessness and aid homeless people have generally misunderstood the roots of homelessness and offered therapeutic or police solutions. Ironically, only recently have cities recognized providing housing as the vital central hub of homelessness programs.