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28 August 2010 @ 06:11 pm
The Idyllic 50s  
Ran into this in comments about something else at Daily Kos, worth repeating:

White people enjoyed FHA loans in the 1950s ...but nonwhites were cut out on the biggest wealth-building chance in postwar America.

Fair housing advocate Charles Abrams, writing in 1955: "From its inception the FHA set itself up as the protector of the all white neighborhood. It sent its agents into the field to keep Negroes and other minorities from buying houses in white neighborhoods. It exerted pressure against builders who dared to build for minorities, and against lenders willing to lend on mortgages."

Sociologist James Loewen (2005): "More than 98% of the millions of home loans guaranteed by the FHA and VA after World War II were available only to whites."

Sociologist Troy Duster: "Of 350,000 new homes built in northern California between 1946 and 1960 with FHA support, fewer than 100 went to blacks. That same pattern holds for the whole state and for the nation as well."

That did not change until 1968 when the passage of Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act (aka the Fair Housing Act). Then, in the 1970's alone, housing prices tripled.

And we think the absence of a black middle class is accidental, or natural, or the product of market forces alone?

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