Many of the issues surrounding affordable housing for Black and Brown people in Philadelphia are because of the discriminatory policy called “redlining.” We can trace redlining back to the 1930s, when the federal Home Owners’ Loan Corporation created a color-coded map of cities. These maps assessed mortgage risk by neighborhood. Red areas were deemed risky and green areas were deemed desirable. HOLC essentially built a guide that perpetuated segregation and wealth inequity across the country, including Philadelphia.

Laws like the Fair Housing Act of 1968, Community Reinvestment Act (CRA), and the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) made redlining illegal and attempted to undo its negative effects. Unfortunately, the impact of redlining still affects the city today. The American Economic Journal released a study in 2021 that reported that HOLC’s redlined neighborhoods suffered long-term declines in home ownership, house values, and credit scores.

It is clear today that the effects of redlining caused a systemic wealth disparity in minority communities around the city. At Philadelphia Accelerator Fund, we recognize that fixing our current systems is one way to bring wealth and opportunity to Black and Brown people across Philadelphia. 

PAF takes a multilevel approach to help communities of color gain the wealth they were denied in the past. First, we work predominantly with minority developers, helping them find funding for their projects and providing mentorship. Second, developers that receive funds through PAF must offer affordable housing options. Homeownership has a direct correlation with wealth, allowing people to reap the benefits of gentrification, rather than force them out of their homes because of rising rent.  

If you are a developer in Philadelphia, we want to help you succeed. Sign up for our portal today. It is free and gives you the tools, access, and support you need to fuel your next property development project.