Redlining in New York

How New Deal Housing Policy Entrenched Housing Segregation and the Racial Wealth Gap

This paragraph should introduce the racial wealth gap and housing's role in it. It should introduce the federal policies that created the post-Great Depression mortgage market boom and a surge in homeownership rates nationwide. It should explain how African Americans were shut out of that market, and how that created a vicious negative feedback loop.

This paragraph should orient the user to the analysis approach and perspective of what they should see as they continue down the page. It should explain that we're exploring how redlining maps give us a lens into housing discrimination practices and that we're exploring how they impact housing markets in present-day New York, which is still one of the most segregated cities in the United States.

Background placeholder for image, video, or animation that humanizes the project and stays in the background until the visualization section

Understanding Redlining in 1930's New York

Where were redline zones drawn in New York?

The goal of this section is to explain why redlining maps were drawn in the mid-1930's, the mortgage opportunities that were made available to different grades, the racial motivations behind the gradings, and what the gradings were across New York.

User should leave with:

  • Broad understanding of what redline maps and specific grades represent re: housing discrimination
  • What that landscape looked like in New York
  • Graphic will stay in position on page, while text on the left scrolls
  • Grade will appear or be highlighted when their description is presented in the text
  • Could add in real apprasial text descriptions from HOLC area descriptions (during animation?)
  • Zones should have hoverable tooltips

Understanding Redlining in 1930's New York

How did redlining entrench housing discrimination?

The goal of this section is to give users an understanding of the racial composition, home values, and homeownership at the time the maps were drawn.

The first section of this text will explain which zone gradings we want to look at and what metrics are important in those zones. The second part will give the reader a broad take-away and potentially highlight a couple interesting examples to look at (e.g. "high white population in Yonkers, high home values in Westchester county")

User should leave with:

  • Overarching understanding of racial composition and housing market at the time the maps were drawn
  • Connection between racial composition of neighborhoods and redlining grades
  • Examples of specific neighborhoods for context

Dots should appear over zones for the grades I focus on, sized according to metric discussed in narrative on left hand side

change in racial composition and home market

How has the legacy of discrimination persisted?

The goal of this section is to explore the relationship between racial composition, homeownership, and homevalues in neighborhoods over time. Ideally this could both show macro-trends across gradings or for neighborhoods within a grading. This section should identify interesting neighborhood comparisons.

User should leave with:

  • Understanding of how racial composition and housing market across have progressed since the 1930's
  • Examples of neighborhood case-studies and comparisons we will be looking at in more detail in section 4
  • Dots should animate position and size as the years progress, potentially leaving a trail
  • Narrative will highlight case studies that started at a similar baseline but ended up in different places

change in racial composition and home market

How did the market respond to changing neighborhoods?

The goal of this section is to compare the change in racial composition, homeownership, and home value over time for a selected small handfull of neighborhoods. These neighborhoods should start out with similar metrics but diverge over time, ending up with different racial compositions and/or real estate markets. This type of comparison should portray how housing discrimination affected wealth building and homeownership opportunities within these particular neighborhoods. Hopefully I can anchor this story with specific examples of particular houses that were sold, images of the neighborhood today, etc.

Users should leave with:

  • Examples of how changing racial compositions of a neighborhood affected its housing markets
  • Personalized stories of real neighborhoods, houses, or families that had different opportunities to grow wealth in the housing market

At this point, the user should have a broad understanding of how redlining and housing discrimination operated in the mid-30's, where avenues for wealth-building homeownership were available and unavailable in New York, what legacy access to these avenues has on New York's segregated housing market today, and stories of neighborhoods or houses with different levels of access to these avenues and their resulting differences in home value, ownership, and wealth-building opportunities.

The user should leave understanding the generational implications of housing discrimination – why just preventing future discrimination won't be enough to address today's levels of residential segregation and racial wealth disparities. I will also aim to open up the data visualization to exploration once the guided narrative is done, allowing users to explore the map, scatter-plot, and/or neighborhood details for areas in New York that interest them.