The 1968 Fair Housing Act outlawed redlining nationwide. But the disastrous effects of the discriminatory practice are still contributing to today’sbetween Black and White Americans.
“I think you see it in every city in America,” Atlanta councilman Amir Farokhi told CBS News’ Michelle Miller. “This is where the basis of segregated neighborhoods remains to this day.”
Farokhi represents a divided district in Atlanta — half the area is enjoying the bloom of reinvestment, while the other is still blighted.
“We can draw a line kind of northwest to southeast, and most of the neighborhoods above that line are predominantly White and most beneath it are,” he said. “You are still living with generational divide and the wealth gap that happens because of that.”
The federal government began the practice of redlining in the 1930s, outlining areas deemed “hazardous” — often home to sizable Black, minority and immigrant populations. Based on that, mortgage lenders would deny loans to low-income minorities in those neighborhoods, causing disinvestment and placing home ownership out of reach for people of color.
Atlanta resident Kimberly Alexander said her family saw the inequity unfold firsthand along the city’s Auburn Avenue.
“It was everything,” she said of the predominantly-Black area. “It was Black excellence. It was Black commerce.”
In its heyday a century ago, Alexander’s family business was a fixture there, until the area — and the country itself — began changing.
“There was a period of time after desegregation where businesses shuttered and left because they had opportunity elsewhere,” Alexander said. “And some people thought the grass was greener on the other side. And so unfortunately that left a lot of buildings plighted and the area plighted.”
Thus, the community was redlined.
Many neighborhoods that were redlined like Auburn Avenue, deemed “hazardous,”