Black History Month Real Estate Edition
As Black History Month comes to a close, I want to pay homage to the Black homeowners that fought injustice and systemic racism on their journey to homeownership.
America’s history in gate-keeping the ability for Black people to purchase homes and start to build wealth and stability in their families has impacted many.
Many of us may have heard of the term redlining. Redlining was a tool of oppression created and exercised by those in power. Redlining is a term that is quite literal, lenders and realtors would draw a red line on a map representing areas where Black families, along with other minorities, were not allowed to purchase homes.
Redlining was systemic. Families who fell victim to redlining would not be shown homes in these areas and mortgage lenders would refuse to finance homes located in these areas. In some cases, lenders would also not offer loans allowing these families to fix up the homes they currently had.
Other cities choose to issue racial deed covenants to keep Black families out of their neighborhoods. We typically find these in our HOA guidelines; you’ll find covenants for the community that each homeowner is agreeing to comply with. In a racial deed covenant, the deed states that the racial minorities are not allowed to own the home. When these deed covenants were enforced, they prohibited Black families from owning homes in the neighborhood, thereby keep the community available to white families only.
In 1968, the Fair Housing Act was passed. This Act protects people when they are renting or buying a home, or performing other acts in the housing industry. There are seven protected classes listed within the Fair Housing Act.
With the passage of this Act, it is now illegal to be discriminated against while buying or selling, from getting a mortgage and in advertising, among other things.
This Act has enabled families access to homes and the loans needed to purchase them.
Happy Black History month, y’all!