You are here: Home > Conferences > Seventh Annual Conference > ttmp > Racism, Riots, and Real Estate—The HUD Housing Crisis

Racism, Riots, and Real Estate—The HUD Housing Crisis

Keeanga Yamahtta Taylor
Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor


The scholarship on housing discrimination focuses almost exclusively on post war struggles for “fair housing” and the federal government’s role in creating, legitimating and perpetuating residential segregation and redlining. But what happened after federal anti-discrimination legislation banned discrimination in the renting, selling and financing of homes? This paper explores the new problems created by “greenlining” and the impact of unregulated mortgage lending programs subsidized by the federal government and intended to promote home ownership among the poor and low income in the aftermath of the urban rebellions that threatened the stability of American cities throughout the 1960s. The Fair Housing Act of 1968 created several housing subsidy programs aimed at increasing the number of single-family homeowners in urban areas. The programs were administered the department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and by 1973 more than half a million people were using the subsidies to buy their own homes. Yet by the early 1970s reports of racism, fraud and corruption in the home subsidy programs were the subject of federal investigations and national newspaper stories. It is estimated that despite the four billion dollar price tag on these programs an unprecedented wave of home foreclosures in inner cities across the United States were the result with almost three hundred thousand units of housing either falling into disrepair or ultimately being demolished—including a high of twenty-five thousand homes in Detroit alone. The HUD housing crisis has to be included in our understanding of the urban crisis and the decline of American inner cities.

Urban Marxism - Political economy - new york conference - history  
This article is part of The politics of housing (A panel on 'The politics of housing')

Document Actions