A Battle for Fair Housing Still Raging, But Mostly Forgotten

It’s not something we think about a lot or something that gets reported on often, but once you start digging around some, it’s hard not to see the consequences of our country’s long, sordid history of housing discrimination everywhere racial disparities manifest. The giant wealth gap between black and Latino Americans and white folks. Shorter life expectancies. Worse educational outcomes. Mass incarceration.

Last week’s This American Life episode was entirely devoted to this topic, and it makes the relationship between housing discrimination and these other disparities jarringly clear.

“[On] every measure of well-being and opportunity, the foundation is where you live,” Nikole Hannah-Jones, the ProPublica reporter , told TAL’s Nancy Updike. “Cancer rates, asthma rates, infant mortality, unemployment, education, access to fresh food, access to parks, whether or not the city repairs the roads in your neighborhood.”

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