A three-part series tackles redlining in Macon

After the Great Depression, the United States government established a discriminatory policy that denied housing loans in low income and black neighborhoods- a practice called redlining that still exists today.

During the second night of a three-part series hosted by Highland Hills Baptist Church and the Macon Historic Foundation, Macon Mayor Robert Reichert spoke about redlining.

“They still have areas that are not quote/unquote ‘redline’, but they have districts of low income,” said Reichert. “There is a very definite bias against loaning money to low income people because they pose a greater risk of non payment.”

Reichert said that this resulted in a “stagnation of people” that are unable to afford homes, cars, and college for their children, even when qualified, just because of their race.

According to a study done by the Washington Post, 73 percent of neighborhoods that were once redlined now contain minorities that have low-to-moderate income levels.

Pastor Jake Hall of Highland Hills is leading the series, Faith Speaks, because he wants to bring attention to some of the main problems that persist in the community.

“We chose redlining on purpose,” said Hall. “You don’t have to drive very far in an opulent neighborhood to hit blight and then another opulent neighborhood.”

Hall said that he hopes this series will provoke community members to recognize the divide and inspire change in Macon.

According to the program’s Facebook, “The first series explores the shape of our city through the lens of redlining, the practice of systematically denying resources like housing, financing services, insurance, and other opportunities to people in specific locations.”

The series concluded on February 13. Further information for the next event has yet to be announced.