HOME, Inc. is here for our community. We have been since 1967 and we will be in the future. That is why we work every day to make a more equitable and equal future and will not stop working for change.
Housing discrimination is present in our community. Black, indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) communities face more challenges in the home buying process and have seen historical, institutional racism on the basis of housing. If you read our 2018-19 annual report (https://bit.ly/2VccCXv) you will see our long term planning goals. The page states the large disparity between white and minority homeownership rates. 43% of African Americans, 47% of Hispanics, 57% of Asians, and 73% of whites are homeowners. We are dedicated to eliminating this gap. All people have the ability to be homeowners. Housing cannot be a race issue.
As we have been learning more about housing discrimination and racism in our communities, we remind ourselves of past opportunities we as an organization have had to educate ourselves about housing discrimination, and specifically, redlining.
Every day we work to equalize the housing community and acknowledge that every person deserves a safe home. We recognize and educate ourselves on the past, present, and future inequalities that will be faced. One way we do that is through the Affordable Housing Week. During the Affordable Housing Week in 2019, we were able to learn more about the history of the Des Moines neighborhoods and the inequalities that still exist today.
Below is part of our blog from that week (https://bit.ly/36ULkdI) where we learned more about redlining and historical housing racism:
The presentation included the screening of the documentary, “Jim Crow of the North” (https://bit.ly/3eKSHH7), all of the speakers participated in a panel discussion in which looks a the inequities of our African American population are facing.
Not only did this tour allow our staff to learn more about the Des Moines neighborhoods, but we also learned how redlining has affected the Des Moines neighborhoods over the last century. Through the tour, we learned how racial discrimination integrated itself into the Des Moines neighborhoods. As HOME, Inc. employees, we were proud to go through neighborhoods we have helped to revitalized and see the impact our houses have on the community.
After the bus ride, several staff members had the opportunity to visit the ‘Undesign the Red Line’ project (https://www.undesigndsm.com/). This exhibit explains the impact explicit racism from the government had on the housing system during the Jim Crow Era by redlining and devaluing specific neighborhoods in the early to mid-1900s. We as a community have yet to integrate our neighborhoods and create equity in our city. By learning more about redlining, we became even more passionate about housing equity and equality.
HOME, Inc. is in the business of helping people. In 2018, 50% of our case management clients were minorities, 51% of households in our counseling program are minorities. We are here to build our community and work with others to do so.
What you can do to become more educated and an ally:
- How to be Antiracist Ibram X. Kendi
- Just Mercy Bryan Stevenson (also a film)
- So You Want to Talk About Race Ijeoma Oluo
- The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness Michelle Alexander ** read a by HOME, Inc. staff and would recommend
- Their Eyes Were Watching God Zora Neale Hurston
- This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color by Cherríe Moraga
- White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo, PhD
- The Color of Law Richard Rothstein ** read a by HOME, Inc. staff and would recommend
- Evicted Matthew Desmond (about affordable housing!)
- Know Your Price Andre Perry (about BIPOC neighborhoods)
- The Hate U Give (also a book) (available on Hulu) **watched by a HOME, Inc. staff and would recommend
- When They See Us (available on Netflix)
- 13th (available on Netflix)
- Dear White People (available on Netflix)
- NPR Podcast: CodeSwitch
Educate your children:
Local (DSM related):
- Learn about redlining: https://www.undesigndsm.com/
- Learn about the Civil and Human Rights Commission: https://www.dsm.city/departments/civil_and_human_rights/index.php
- Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies, 2019 https://www.jchs.harvard.edu/state-nations-housing-2019