1956 Aerial View of Pruitt-Igoe and Vaughn Housing Projects, St. Louis, MO, Photo by @JoelinSouthernCA
1956 Aerial View of Pruitt-Igoe and Vaughn Housing Projects, St. Louis, MO, Photo by @JoelinSouthernCA

Most metropolitan areas in the United States are segregated by race. Who created “the hood”?

The New Deal is considered, by most Americans nowadays, to be a glorious piece of social legislation. About one-fifth of the country was unemployed right before the New Deal and needed help. Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) is considered the patron saint of American Progressivism, but his administration enforced housing segregation throughout the land in such a way that has endured for generations.

Why is it that even today it is much harder for a black family to get a home mortgage than a white family? Discrimination in housing is why so many black families have less wealth than white families. Between 1934 and 1962, the United States government backed $120 billion in low-cost home loans. More than 98% of those loans went to white families 73% of white households are home owners, only 45% of African-American are.

Author Richard Rothstein called those efforts ‘state-sponsored system of segregation.’ “In fact, when African-Americans tried to buy homes in all-white neighborhoods or in mostly white neighborhoods, property values rose because African-Americans were more willing to pay more for properties than whites were, simply because their housing supply was so restricted and they had so many fewer choices,” Author Richard Rothstein said on NPR’s Fresh Air“So the rationale that the Federal Housing Administration used was never based on any kind of study. It was never based on any reality.”

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