Does Federal Spending Subsidize Segregated Housing?

04 20 15 White People HouseIn her article in the Atlantic, “Where the White People Live,” writer Alana Semuels uses the city of Detroit and other urban centers to draw some stark pictures about the continuing racial segregation in housing that is a legacy of “redlining” and other practices, as well as an illustration of the growing income divide.

She slices and dices the statistics in a variety of ways, and makes a lot of interesting arguments, including the fact that in some places, the federal subsidies of racially segregated affluent areas (through mortgage deduction) are three times the subsidy spent in racially segregated poverty areas (through housing vouchers and other subsidy.)

It’s an interesting study in how we “spend” federal dollars and how that spending creates unintended and ultimately troubling results.