The Devil Theory of Redlining

  • June 21, 1977
  • • Written by: Pierre de Vise 

Summer 1977, Vol 2, No 1

Abstract: Neighborhood decline is caused by a complex chain of factors associated with the city’s growing attraction for poor and minority Americans and growing repulsion for middle-class majority Americans, according to the author. Overbuilding in the suburbs has led to a weakness in demand for inner-city dwellings, and Chicago is one of the nation’s urban areas which has suffered from the building explosion. Since 1960 two new units have been built in the Chicago area for every new household in the area. This has led to the collapse of the black and transitional housing submarkets, he believes, because of the lack of bona fide, financially able home buyers willing to move into these areas. By accusing financial institutions of redlining, the anti-redliners have relieved officials of the necessity to confront realistically the problems of overbuilding and urban decay.