According to D Magazine, redlining means “the denial of loans, mortgages, and other services based on a neighborhood’s demographic makeup” (Macon, 2017, par. 2). In Dallas, redlining was used by the Home Owner’s Loan Corporation beginning in the 1930s in order help refinance mortgages during the Great Depression. The main target of redlining was predominantly black and low-income communities, like those in South Dallas (Macon, 2017, par. 3).
These neighborhoods were considered “hazardous” investments, which prevented people from investing in minority areas, contributing to the large racial divide in Dallas and helping perpetuate segregation (Macon, 2017, par. 4).
Below is a map that circulated Dallas in the 1930s, showing the areas of Dallas that were considered “redzones” (Macon, 2017).
Unfortunately, these maps have not changed much throughout Dallas’ history and there are still issues with loans to low-income people in Dallas, mainly due to the bank’s ability to draw maps that disclude South and West Dallas. According to WFAA, banks are allowed to cut off areas in a county if it is divided by a highway and is not discriminatory, leading to communities South of I-30 to have less financial opportunity. In WFAA’s study of redlining, they found that there are 474 bank branches above I-30 and 58 branches below, showing the severe lack of opportunity for low-income people and minorities (Schechter, Trahan, and Horner, 2020, par. 15) .
To learn more about how this issue is still prevalent in Dallas, watch the video from WFAA below:
For an interactive map showing the different grades of Dallas areas today, click the compass icon below. Here you can explore what makes an area “hazardous,” the demographics of those areas, and the geographic description of the areas.
If you would like to skip ahead on the timeline to topics related to redlining in Dallas, click on the topics below:
The Community Reinvestment Acts was passed to address the redlining in issue on the national level, but fell short of fixing the issue in Dallas:
The U.S. House Financial Services meet with community members and leaders to discuss the issue of redlining in Dallas that persists despite federal policies:
Schechter, D., Trahan, J., Horner, C., & Waivers, N. (2020, November 6). “They underestimate what we can do”: WFAA finds banks exclude Blacks, Hispanics in Southern Dallas from access to loans. Wfaa.Com. https://www.wfaa.com/article/news/local/investigates/banking-below-30-southern-dallas-cut-off-by-freeway-also-left-off-banking-maps/287-10557dd3-bbf4-44a2-b786-44c6347a6e48
Macon, A. (2017, August 16). New Maps Show Consequences of Redlining in Dallas. D Magazine. http://www.dmagazine.com/frontburner/2017/08/redlining-dallas-maps/
Mapping Inequality. (n.d.). Retrieved September 27, 2021, from https://dsl.richmond.edu/panorama/redlining/#loc=13/32.763/-96.825&mapview=graded&city=dallas-tx&area=D3
WFAA. (2020, November 24). WFAA finds banks exclude Blacks, Hispanics in Southern Dallas from access to loans. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JbyxX5TeeL0