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Historical Redlining and Contemporary Federal Place-based Policy

August 1, 2019 12:42 PM

By Roxana Marisela Flores Rojas, Master's student, Pompeu Fabra University–BSM Barcelona School of Management

This session focused on Housing for the People: Constructing Equitable and Socially-Just Housing Policy. Cassandra Robertson, Cornell University, presented the session explaining the key issue of federal initiatives in the 1930s, accompanied by geocoded data from HOLC (Home Owners' Loan Corporation) maps to understand the relationship between the redline and financing of the federation of the place, in which her paper tells us that “federal funds are being reduced based on the place. This devalues the value of homes in previously redirected American neighborhoods. In turn they are disproportionate to the areas that were redesigned in the first half of the twentieth century.  All of this exerts a causal effect on long-term results in both the wealth and food of urban neighbors.”

These areas were classified as dangerous or decreasing.  The results indicated by this research are that “the average red-line tract (or grade D) received more than $17 million in federal funds since 1990, or about $ 9,000 per capita, while the highest rated tracts (grade A) received a little less than $ 2million on average or about $567 per person.”  This means that the programs are directed to discriminated places.

In conclusion, the political implications in location-based housing are to first reduce urban inequality that is growing, since it is one of the most important challenges.

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