This American Life: Housing Rules Shayla Stevenson


Housing segregation has been going on for a very long time now. Longer than many people would like to admit. Housing segregation is still very prominent today in America. Many minorities are turned away by realtors or covenants, not because there actually isn't any room for them in the apartment but because of the color of their skin. Housing segregation however was kept as a more secretive matter but its still very relevant today. Housing segregation divides us in the most quiet ways that many people don't notice until they are face to face with it.



When you live in a certain neighborhood you may only be exposed to a few types of schools. For example when you live in a low income neighborhood you are more likely to just be close to public schools or charter schools. However, in a higher income neighborhood, you will find a wider range of schools at your service ranging from public to private instead of just having 2 types at your service. In inner cities it is less likely for there to be


Food stores, shopping outlets just stores in general may not be in a good radius from where you live. When living in a lower income environment you will have more corner stores in every block, but in a higher income area you are more likely to have an acme, shoprite, wegmans etc. This is because there's more money to be put into the surrounding community due to more money flow. Higher income communities have more money so they have more supermarkets and shopping outlets and such. Lower income communities don't have as much money so they wont have as many of these stores nearby.


Where you live can affect who you talk to on a day to day basis, who you become friends with and share common interests with. Your socioeconomic status can have a lot of pull on your friendships because that is who you live by and who you have the most in common with. Your neighbors usually resemble who you are ranging from race to ethnicity. where you live can affect who your neighbors will most likely be and your friends also.


Where you live can affect your transportation route to work, to school or wherever you go on a day to day basis. If you live in the city you are more likely to want to take public transportation instead of buying a car because of the traffic and cost. However, living in the suburbs you are more likely to buy a car because it becomes more of a necessity to get places. Also, these can have an impact on your economic status as anyone would assume which can have an extra effect on where you decide to live.

Top Left Corner: An idea of what Redlining looks like; Bottom left corner: Blockbusting newspaper article Right side: Article on racial covenants

Rationale & Impact of Housing Segregation:

Housing segregation starts when you turn someone away because of the color of their skin. It continues when the government uses redlining as a means of keep races apart from each other and this is another reason why we still aren't in a post racial society. Blockbusting also plays a big role in housing segregation because of how many people don't want to live in a neighborhood because they will have black people as their neighbors. The impact of housing segregation is very detrimental to society as a whole. Redlining, Blockbusting and Racial Covenants are all a means of control and a way to keep segregating communities today.


There are still many ways today that people are segregated whether we see it as a community or not its still there. Housing segregation one way or another is here to stay because of the world we live in, its not going anywhere. People would rather not have any neighbors at all then have a black neighbor. Housing segregation is still prevalent today and will still be a prominent problem for a very long time. Why can't we all just be friends?

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Shayla Stevenson

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