Segregation Has Been A Problem In New York State For A Long Time
While this may come as a surprise to some people, racial segregation is not something that is new in the Empire State.
The history of segregation in Buffalo and Western New York goes back many years and every neighborhood in the area has been impacted by its history. The legacy of segregation has been seen in the areas public/affordable housing and in private home sales thanks to things like redlining.
What Is Redlining
According to the Partnership for the Public Good, a Buffalo community-based think tank, redlining is an illegal practice of discriminating against minorities by systematically denying access to mortgages, insurance, and other financial products solely based on where the person lived, or wanted to live, and had nothing to do with their income or credit worthiness.
Literal red lines were drawn on maps to denote the areas where it was acceptable to do business in and not do business. Those lines almost always also mapped where minorities lived.
Residential Security Maps where created in the early 1930s by the Home Owners’ Loan Corporation (HOLC), a federal housing agency that was a precursor to the Federal Housing Administration, to provide loan officers, appraisers and other housing professionals where it was acceptable to provide their services. Neighborhoods that were considered high risk to do business in were redlined out and those areas almost always denoted where minorities lived.
Buffalo Is Still Segregated Today
PPGs 2018 report A City Divided goes into details about how segregation in Buffalo, and other areas, was not only sponsored by the government and government officials, but endorsed.
Both the Office of the New York State Attorney General and the New York Department of Financial Services have done investigations into continued redlining and segregation in Buffalo and they have found the issues continue as they have for decades.