Steve's point is that the mortgage meltdown has been largely caused by the federal government's campaign against "redlining" and imagined discrimination against blacks. (As opposed to "predatory lending" which is imagined discrimination in favor of blacks.) The Journal wrote in 1977
The whites in Marquette Park are particularly embittered over the Federal Housing Administration mortgage insurance program which they claim is causing neighborhood deterioration by subsidizing home purchases by blacks too poor to maintain them. Long conservatively run and an engine of the post-World War II suburban housing boom, the FHA program was liberalized shortly after the 1968 urban riots to encourage lower-income black home ownership ("if they own it they won't burn it" was the maxim of the time). Downpayment requirements for FHA mortgages were all but eliminated and lending standards were relaxed.The thing is that most of the whiteÂ residents wouldn't have much objection to blacks who had jobs and qualified for mortgages moving into their neighborhood. What they objected to was the Federal Government moving its welfare clients into their neighborhood, with predictable results.
Joann Hanahan says that she was on edge from the moment a year ago that blacks began moving on her block in the eastern section of Marquette Park. "Like a lot of people around there, my husband and I had seen the neighborhood we grew up in wrecked after blacks moved in, so naturally we were worried," recalls the 40 year-old warehouse worker's wife. At first there were no problems, according to Mrs. Hanahan. "Most of the blacks who moved in were nice people like the cement finisher who bought the house directly across the street from us. They were running from the ghetto too," she says.One of the new neighbors agreed with this:
Says Alfred Williams, a muscular black 25-year-old body and fender repairman, "I really hope that the white families will stay on the block because if it goes all black the neighborhood will go bad. In black areas, there are just too many kids hanging around breaking in houses and messing things up."It's the same with schools and busing—unlike the old days before Brown vs. Board of Education, parents wouldn't object to blacks who live in their neighborhood going to their school. They objected to blacks from the ghetto being bused into white schools, and vice versa.