Redlining is a practice of discrimination in which financial institutions, real estate companies, and other businesses deny or limit certain services, such as mortgages or insurance, to people living in certain areas, often based on the racial or ethnic makeup of those neighborhoods.

The term redlining comes from the practice of drawing a red line on a map to mark areas in which certain services were not offered. This practice was often used to discriminate against neighborhoods with a high concentration of marginalized residents, which were often deemed as less desirable or less creditworthy.

Redlining has had a significant impact on the ability of people living in these areas to access credit and other financial services, which can limit their ability to buy homes, start businesses, and accumulate wealth. It is illegal under federal fair housing laws to discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, or other protected characteristics in the provision of housing and financial services.

Take Action

How to address the harmful impact of redlining in your community.

Support fair housing policies: Support organizations and politicians that advocate for fair housing policies and work to eliminate discrimination in housing and lending practices.

Report redlining: If you suspect that you or someone you know has been the victim of redlining, report it to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) or a fair housing organization.

Educate yourself and others: Learn about the history and impacts of redlining, and share this information with others to raise awareness and promote change. You can also work with community organizations to educate people about their fair housing rights and how to advocate for themselves.

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