Can Seattle rezone away the racial divide in housing?

Can Seattle rezone away the racial divide in housing?

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For generations, Seattle was segregated through racist neighborhood covenants, deed restrictions, even banking policies designed to keep certain minorities out of largely white enclaves.Yet nearly 50 years after the landmark Fair Housing Act sought to reverse that legacy, the city remains strikingly separated along color lines.

A Seattle Times analysis shows that areas dedicated to single-family houses remain the city’s most exclusive havens. If you live in North Capitol Hill or Sunset Hill/Loyal Heights single-family zones, you have more than 100 white neighbors for every black one. Much of North Seattle, however, “remained in 2010 almost as exclusively white as it had been 50 years earlier,” according to the University of Washington’s Seattle Civil Rights and Labor History Project. Racist practices were not confined to single-family zones, the project noted, “they covered nearly all residential housing in the region.”

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​Originally posted on the Seattle Times by Justin Mayo and Bob Young