Freedom to Discriminate: How the Real Estate Industry Created Housing Segregation and the Conservative Vision of American Freedom
The course will show how residential segregation was neither normal nor natural, but invented by the organized real estate industry. The first all-white neighborhoods were created not in the South but a mile from Berkeley’s campus. Racial deed restrictions, homeowner associations, redlining maps, and federal rationales for excluding minorities were all pioneered by America’s realtors. To justify continuing segregation at the height of the Civil Rights Movement, realtors developed an idea of American freedom as the right to discriminate that has dominated our politics for the last half century. The course will show how residential segregation transformed America in ways that continue to shape the country today.
- The history of and restrictions on equal access to housing.
- How the past shapes the differential resources of minorities and other families for buying and renting today.
- Why fair housing has had such a limited role in desegregating our cities.
- The consequences of this history for conditions of neighborhoods and metropolitan areas today
Gene Slater, Chairman, CSG AdvisorsMaster of City Planning MIT; Loeb Fellow in Environmental Design, Harvard
Gene Slater is the chair and co-founder of CSG Advisors which has been the nation’s leading financial advisor for affordable housing for each of the last 20 years. He has served as senior advisor to many state housing finance agencies and major cities. In 2009, he helped design what U.S. Treasury viewed as its most successful housing response to the financial crisis, financing homes for 110,000 first-time buyers and 40,000 affordable rental units. He has a BA summa cum laude from Columbia, Master of City Planning from MIT, Master’s from Stanford, and a Loeb Fellowship in Environmental Design from Harvard.