This event is hosted by The Two Hundred as part of Affordable Housing Month 2021.
Shortsighted California housing policies and practices have caused a housing shortage that undermines homeownership for communities of color.
There is an under told story of U.S. civil rights struggles that all too often is overshadowed by historic efforts to expand voting rights. The centuries long fight for fair housing, which we define as universal access to healthy, affordable, and opportunity-rich homes regardless of race or background, is an ongoing battle that defines which groups have accumulated wealth, and which groups have been left out.
No other form of discrimination has affected families of color more than redlining, the legal denial of access to mortgages and homeownership. The redlining legacy is not just historic, patterns of poverty and exclusionary policies reflect the 1930’s era maps published by the Home Owner’s Loan Corporation, which famously limited access to homeownership loans in predominantly Black neighborhoods which we’re color-coded red.
Researchers have produced rich data mapping that illustrate how people living in historically redlined communities have limited access to wealth accumulation and wealth distribution today. Current research clearly reveals the high standard of living in the U.S. enjoyed by our expansive (and largely white) middle-class rose dramatically over the course of the 20th century thanks largely to the enormous public investments in homeownership opportunities, if you were white.
Conversely, for communities of color, the persistent and pervasive institutional efforts to deny access to these same homeownership opportunities has resulted in a lower quality of life in every social measurement – education, health, social mobility, mortality, civic engagement, wealth, self-esteem …etc. Ownership, particularly homeownership, has proved to be both the doorway and gatekeeper, to success and well-being in America.
Ron Chavez, producer of the award winning short documentary Redlined, A Legacy of Housing Discrimination, will discuss how redlining and discriminatory housing policies persist today and what Silicon Valley residents can do to create equitable change.