Redlining Community Dialogue

The Office of Redevelopment Strategies has launched an interactive story map that illustrates the modern day consequences of redlining in Louisville. With the launch of this map, a year-long community conversation will take place to address the issue of redlining in our community. Redlining, which takes many forms, is most commonly the practice of denying loans in certain neighborhoods because of race or socioeconomic characteristics.  
 
The Home Owner’s Loan Corporation (HOLC) was created in 1933 by the U.S. federal government to bolster the housing market and homeownership opportunities across the nation. The HOLC created residential securities maps, better known as redlining maps, to guide investment in U.S. cities. These maps assigned grades to neighborhoods to indicate their desirability for investment. Black, immigrant and low-income neighborhoods were often given low grades, eliminating their access to mortgage insurance or credit for decades. Although the HOLC was discontinued in 1951, the impact of disinvestment resulting from redlining is still evident in Louisville and most other U.S. cities today. 
 
Local urban planner Joshua Poe has developed an interactive story map entitled Redlining Louisville: The History of Race, Class and Real Estate. This map illustrates the ways that redlining affected housing development, disinvestment and lending patterns in Louisville since the 1930s. By layering data sets such as vacant properties, building permits and property values, the map displays how the redlining that was devised in the 1930s has had consequences that remain evident today.
 
Conventional redlining still exists. Examples include refusal to provide delivery in certain areas, business loan denials regardless of creditworthiness and refusal to write property insurance policies or dropping property owners from insurance coverage altogether. Other forms of redlining, referred to as reverse redlining, also exist. Examples of reverse redlining include offering services low-income residents at higher prices, higher interest rates and excessive service fees or inferior products such as payday loans, cash advances, and expedited tax returns. 
 
By beginning this dialogue, the city intends to acknowledge the past and better our future by removing hurdles that prevent residents from reaching their full human potential. 
 
Supporting Agencies & Organizations
Metro Human Relations Commission
Louisville Urban League
Greater Louisville Project
Metropolitan Housing Coalition
New Directions Housing Corporation
YouthBuild Louisville
Anne Braden Institute for Social Justice Research
Metro Center for Health Equity
Metro Office of Safe & Healthy Neighborhoods