By now, most people concerned about institutional discrimination in the United States have know about redlining1 — the discrimination by financial institutions of entire neighbourhoods of Black citizens, their inhabitants and their properties, systematically declared unsuitable for housing loans.
Legislation to protect against housing discrimination has been passed, but weak enforcement responses together with legislative loopholes have made it possible for commerce and governments to more or less conduct business as usual, whether openly or surreptitiously.
Federal initiatives to limit discrimination include the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) rule.
There have been recent movements by the current U.S. government to abolish some of these anti-discrimination rules as “costly and unnecessary.” Those actions have shone much-needed light, not only upon the existence of such rules, but on a pressing need for more diligent enforcement.
Meanwhile, this summer’s latest evolution of the Black Lives Matter movement has raised the possibility of reparations to Black communities for a century and more of systematic discrimination.
A recent article explores the AFFH in relation to the possibilities of Black reparations. Read more in The Regulatory Review: AFFH and the Challenge of Reparations in the Administrative State
- See more on the history of redlining here: Redlining: What Was It? And Should We Be Asking ‘What Is It?’ Because It’s Still With Us, And It’s Bad