Dayna Lindo: Three ways America still practices economic racism

  1. aExclusionary Zoning Laws

Exclusionary zoning are requirements and criteria a family has to meet, put in place by “zoning laws,” in order to move into a certain neighborhood. The more difficult it is for someone to move in, the more exclusive is that neighborhood. Zoning codes that prohibit high-density real estate development are key to understanding the affordable rental housing crisis in America, but they are also crucial to understanding the patterns of racial segregation that characterize American life.


  1. Placement of Subsidized Housing

Despite the Fair Housing Act of 1968, which requires states and localities that are funded by federal money to work toward overcoming historical patterns of racial isolation, elected officials reinforce segregation through a range of policies. Among the most pernicious of these is the practice of building subsidized housing in existing low-resource neighborhoods instead of in areas that offer low- and moderate-income families access to safe neighborhoods, good jobs and schools that allow their children to thrive.

  1. Unfair Mortgage Loan Lending

According to the Justice Department, Countrywide Financial, a banking and home loans agency, overcharged more than 200,000 black and Hispanic borrowers for their loans. About 10,000 were sold risky subprime mortgages, even though their finances were good enough to qualify for cheaper prime rates. Black customers who obtained their mortgages through a Countrywide-affiliated broker were more than twice as likely to get a subprime loan than similar white borrowers. In some markets, they were as much as eight times more likely. Countrywide routinely discriminated against blacks and Hispanics by charging them higher interest rates and fees than equally qualified white customers, and this is just one preliminary example.


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