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Archive for February 10th, 2020

This Just In: Race for Profit: How Banks and the Real Estate Industry Undermined Black Homeownership

Redlining is the systematic denial of various services to residents of specific, often racially associated, neighborhoods or communities, either directly or through the selective raising of prices. The Housing and Urban Development Act of 1968 was supposed to establish policies to induce mortgage lenders and the real estate industry to treat Black home-buyers equally. Race for Profit explores how exploitative real estate practices continued well after housing discrimination was banned. The federal government guaranteed urban mortgages in an attempt to overcome resistance to lending to Black buyers, leading bankers, investors, and real estate agents to take advantage and target the Black women most likely to fail to keep up their home payments and slip into foreclosure, multiplying their profits by being able to then reissue mortgages to new borrowers for the same property under the federal program. The result was that the nation’s first programs to encourage Black homeownership led to tens of thousands of foreclosures in Black communities across the country.

This book by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, a professor of African-American Studies at Princeton, was on the longlist for the 2019 National Book Award.