Redlining in San Diego & North County

Housing discrimination may be the root of racial inequality, and redlining is the root of housing discrimination. As the article, “Redlining in America: How a history of housing discrimination endures” by Nellie Peyton puts it:

“In the 1930s, a U.S. government agency classified different neighborhoods based on how safe it was to give out mortgage loans. These classifications were color-coded onto maps: green meant ‘best’, blue meant ‘still desirable’, yellow meant ‘definitely declining’, and red meant ‘hazardous’. Neighborhoods with large Black or minority populations were typically colored red, meaning authorities deemed it risky to give those residents a loan.”

Redlining in San Diego,” by Siera Beal, describes how this practice was carried out in San Diego County. This article uses maps compiled by Mapping Inequality, a collaborative work among 4 universities, that takes data from the Federal Home Owners Loan Corporation (HOLC) and presents it in a browsable digital map that allows us to explore housing inequality throughout America.

Throughout the major metropolitan regions in the United States, the 1930s Home Owners’ Loan Corporation Federal Program appraisal standards and presumptions obstructed Black Americans who lived in redlined neighborhoods from the ability to secure loans to purchase and/or refinance homes. This redlining practice was one of the main causes of the inability to accumulate generational wealth and increase residential mobility.  The 6th Cycle Encinitas Housing Element (Appendix B-42 Table B-37),  approved in April 2021, identified lower home purchasing loan approval rates for Black Americans and Latinx Americans who have attempted to purchase homes in Encinitas.

The 1935 map of San Diego from the agency shown below displays much of southeastern San Diego in red, compared to La Jolla and Coronado in blue.  That color coding is what led to the term, “redlining.”

Here’s how the federal agency described Logan Heights:

“Racial concentration of colored fraternity. Homes show only slight degree of pride of ownership and are on the average negligently maintained.”

And La Jolla:

“Residents embrace nearly all types of professions and are all white. No threat of foreign infiltration. Homes are well maintained.”

As a result of racist covenant deeds, redlining, and persistence of discriminatory practices despite the passage of the Fair Housing Act in 1968, E4E is dedicated to strengthening fair housing practices in the City of Encinitas through advocacy for affordable housing for our BIPOC and low income neighbors.

The maps of San Diego below are from Mapping Inequality.