…Yet if hard numbers mean anything, the 1970s FHA-HUD Scandal, and not “the riots,” bore well over the lion’s share of responsibility for the decayed buildings and vacant lots that scar urban minority communities.
Take Detroit, for example.
In that city’s 1967 riot, 2,509 buildings were looted and burned. In comparison, the FHA-HUD scandals of the 1970s were responsible for the abandonment and ruin of ten times that number – approximately 25,000 properties. The scandals, moreover, clearly foreshadowed today’s subprime mortgage crisis that is similarly hitting black families in grossly disproportionate measure. In both the 1970s and the late 1990s and early 2000s, minority communities that were vulnerable because of decades of state-sanctioned racial discrimination in the granting of credit were suddenly promised a “chance at home ownership”….
~Beryl Satter, Associate Professor of History, Rutgers University;
author of Family Properties: Race, Real Estate, and the Exploitation of Black Urban America