Does my neighborhood determine my future?

How residential segregation creates an opportunity gap.

Housing policy in the United States has a long history of deepening segregation. Redlining, exclusionary lending, and targeted zoning laws have all played a role in isolating minority populations while simultaneously privileging white residents. For nearly 80 years, generations of Americans have lived through endless cycles of poverty and inequality that were built by the US government.

In 1933, when faced with a housing shortage, the Federal Housing Administration set into motion a plan under the New Deal to provide housing to middle-class and lower-middle-class white families. The unofficial borders created from these redlined and rezoned neighborhoods led to poor health, poor education, and poor economic mobility because Black and brown families didn’t have access to the No. 1 way to build wealth in America: homeownership.

In this episode of Glad You Asked, we attempt to understand how where you grow up shapes your future and if the course of history can be changed for millions of non-white Americans.

You can find this video and all of Vox’s videos on YouTube. Subscribe for more.

Additional resources:

The Opportunity Atlas, a tool that maps social mobility based on the neighborhoods where people grew up

The Sordid History of Housing Discrimination in America,” Vox

How Much Has Your ZIP Code Determined Your Opportunities,” the New York Times

America Is More Diverse Than Ever — but Still Segregated,” the Washington Post

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