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The Relationship of Historical Redlining with Present-Day Neighborhood Environmental and Health Outcomes: A Scoping Review and Conceptual Model.

  • Swope, Carolyn B
  • Hernández, Diana
  • Cushing, Lara J
Publication Date
Aug 01, 2022
eScholarship - University of California
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Following the Great Depression and related home foreclosures, the federal government established new agencies to facilitate access to affordable home mortgages, including the Home Owners' Loan Corporation (HOLC) and Federal Housing Administration (FHA). HOLC and FHA directed widespread neighborhood appraisals to determine investment risk, referred to as "redlining," which took into account residents' race. Redlining thereby contributed to segregation, disinvestment, and racial inequities in opportunities for homeownership and wealth accumulation. Recent research examines associations between historical redlining and subsequent environmental determinants of health and health-related outcomes. In this scoping review, we assess the extent of the current body of evidence, the range of outcomes studied, and key study characteristics, examining the direction and strength of the relationship between redlining, neighborhood environments, and health as well as different methodological approaches. Overall, studies nearly universally report evidence of an association between redlining and health-relevant outcomes, although heterogeneity in study design precludes direct comparison of results. We critically consider evidence regarding HOLC's causality and offer a conceptual framework for the relationship between redlining and present-day health. Finally, we point to key directions for future research to improve and broaden understanding of redlining's enduring impact and translate findings into public health and planning practice.

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