The Federal Home Owners’ Loan Corporation (HOLC) was established in 1933 to stabilize the housing market by providing relief to distressed homeowners. The new entity was charged with examining residential stability. Urban area maps were produced that divided neighborhoods by mortgage lending risk. The best — safest — neighborhoods were color-coded and given letter grades. Those ranked lowest were color-coded red: “redlining.”
The National Archives has digitized a small sample of the surviving redline maps. These include Birmingham, Alabama; Miami, Florida; New Orleans, Louisiana; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Providence, Rhode Island; Richmond, Virginia; Salt Lake City, Utah; Syracuse, New York; and Waterbury, Connecticut. Other repositories, e.g., in Ohio and Pennsylvania, also have digitized maps in their states.
The Archives also digitized the Atlanta map. It was delineated on a basemap drawn in 1931 and it includes Decatur and Avondale Estates. The Atlanta map’s HOLC annotation reads:
This map, prepared by Alec C. Morgan, Field Agent, represents the composite opinions of Adams-Gates Company, Draper-Owens Company, both Atlanta realtors, and H.O.L.C. State Appraiser, John L. Conyers. The individual areas were checked by H.O.L.C. appraisers who were familiar with same.
Click on the embedded image below for a larger version. The NARA site has a zoomable version as well as a PDF.
Be sure the check out the historical summaries at the NARA site as well as the Ohio and Pennsylvania ones.
© 2014 D.S. Rotenstein.