Past segregation in neighborhoods still shapes where people live in Miami – NBC 6 South Florida

The impact of these policies can still be seen decades later, where and how people live.

Nadege Green grew up in Little Haiti and graduated from Miami Northwestern Senior High School. NBC 6 caught up with her down the street from the school, in front of Miami’s first public housing project: Liberty Square.

“It’s not necessarily visible. However, as we sit on this racing wall, it is all around us,” said Green, director of community research and storytelling at the Community Justice Project.

She showed NBC 6 what was left of a racing wall. Years ago, it was much larger and separated a black neighborhood from a white neighborhood along 12th Street NW in the Liberty City neighborhood.

“One thing that Miami has been very good at since its founding is marketing this space. When you think about marketing, it’s all good stuff. I don’t think Miami considered any of their good things to be anything that cuts across blackness,” Green said.

Government policy has shaped the Miami of today.

During the Great Depression of the 1930s, the Roosevelt administration and Congress created new programs intended to stabilize the housing market in difficult times.

One such program was the Home Owners’ Loan Corporation.

Program workers have divided and ranked different Miami neighborhoods from A to D to support long-term home loans for parts of the city.

The grades were largely based on race. An “A” neighborhood included whites. A “D” neighborhood included blacks. “D” neighborhoods would not have access to Federal Housing Administration-backed home loans, according to the program manual.

In the 1935 program manual, government officials at the time wrote, “It is necessary that properties continue to be occupied by the same social and racial classes. A change in social or racial occupation usually results in instability and a decrease in values.

It was too risky to lend in these neighborhoods, they said.

Policies like that kept black people in areas now known as Overtown, Brownsville, Liberty City, and pockets of other city neighborhoods.

“It set the tone for understanding what real estate would look like,” said Robin Bachin, founding director of the University of Miami’s Office of Civic and Community Engagement.

Bachin is also a professor of history at UM and led a project on housing inequality and racial segregation. She told NBC 6 that this way of thinking has lasted for decades.

“The federal government has provided guidelines stating that a stable neighborhood is a segregated neighborhood. It helped enshrine segregation as a feature of urban America for the next century,” Bachin said.

The process was also detailed in Professor John Hopkins NDB Connolly’s book, A more concrete world.

Many blacks were forced to rent from white landowners because neighborhood lines defined by the Home Owners’ Loan Corporation cut off access to mortgages for African Americans and people from the Caribbean.

According to Green, this meant that white families could create generational wealth by passing down real estate to their descendants. Black families never could and are now more likely to live in poverty and continue to be renters.

“If you grew up in an area like Liberty City, it was very possible that your family was a tenant,” Green said. “Reality is wealth. We know that the transfer and access to wealth often happens within the family.”

According to an NBC 6 analysis of PolicyMapwhich presents census data.