History of Redlining, is it still applicable?

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Thinking back at the traveling book group, and something the Director of the Office of Planning had said is slightly bugging me. She mentioned redlining. Redlining was when banks and insurance agencies refuse to service or provide loans to certain communities (typically African American). The 1968 Fair Housing and 1977 Community Reinvestment Acts combatted redlining. But later there was reverse redlining which brings subprime mortgages, which is more applicable, I think to our situation than the original redlining.

The other problem, if we are just talking mortgages and redlining (not an expanded definition that goes into retail), is that a lot of properties in my neighborhood, were rentals. The residents were mainly renters, which means, they weren't looking to buy. There were homeowners, and I can think of a couple households made up of really old timers (pre-1980s, pre- 1st wave of Shaw gentrification) who own, or at least grandma owns. But those homeowners are outnumbered by the renters. My house has a strong history of being a rental for most of the 130+ years it's been standing. These things have been bought and sold by investors who are not too dependent on the whims of some random loan officer. Buying a place with cash makes the process go by sooooo much faster.

But I digress.

My block, I believe, are made of mostly owners. When I bought it 10 years ago wasn't like that. There were (what I thought were) Section 8s, a few low priced rentals, and a bunch of vacant townhomes. The block was not suffering from redlining. It suffered, for a brief time, from the loans given out to every Tom, Dick and Harry who was breathing, regardless of if they were already leveraged to the hilt, couldn't afford to maintain the home, or couldn't pay the mortgage when the rate eventually adjusted up.

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This page contains a single entry by Mari published on December 12, 2011 8:31 AM.

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