United Way of Greater Atlanta Public Policy Chair Katina Asbell offers insights on how a history of discriminatory housing and lending practices continues to create an uneven playing field.
The impacts of housing discrimination, once “baked into” policies across government and private sector, can still be felt today. We can see it in the way the Child Well-Being Maps eerily overlay onto the redlining maps of 1940 when predominantly Black neighborhoods were once deemed hazardous and unworthy of home loans. View map.
Housing is foundational to everything we value in our community. Providing access to safe, stable, and affordable housing is instrumental in building an equitable region for all.
Unfortunately, access to housing opportunities has never been equal in this country. The policy that we now know of as redlining has led to lasting disinvestment in minority neighborhoods. These practices were prevalent in the City of Atlanta, and their effects can still be seen today.
While the GI Bill is credited with enlarging the white American middle class, it is also responsible for the uneven distribution of wealth following the war. Black service men and women struggled to access housing and education benefits after World War II, which only widened the gap between Black and white middle-class families.