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Who Will Presidential Candidates' Redlining Plans Actually Benefit?

Housing plans by Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, and Pete Buttigieg intend redress for racist redlining housing practices, but who will actually benefit?
An old apartment building, an empty lot, and new modern construction in a Las Vegas neighborhood in 2018.
An old apartment building, an empty lot, and new modern construction in a Las Vegas neighborhood in 2018.Mike Blake/Reuters

Several issues have gone missing so far on the debate stage among the Democratic Party’s presidential candidates, among them affordable housing and racial equity. This, despite the fact that living costs are going up while wages remain stagnant, and that the percentage of people—whites included—who believe that African Americans are getting fair housing opportunities, is at its lowest level in decades, according to Gallup.

So far, six presidential candidates have proposed policies that address both housing insecurity and historical racial discrimination in the housing market. Senators Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, and Bernie Sanders, along with South Bend mayor, Pete Buttigieg, and former U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro, have all submitted plans that specifically take a crack at addressing racial housing injustices. Some of them aim to reverse the damage done by redlining—the system in which government and financial market forces conspired to keep black people trapped in segregated and under-invested neighborhoods.