Redlining in DSM

What is the legacy?

Areas of Concentration

We see areas of concentration of our black population- in the same areas that were seen in the 1950 map and the areas that have consistently been segregated over the last 70 years. It’s also where we see the concentration of the low-income populations. We also know from research that black residents in Des Moines are the demographic group most likely to live in poverty.

Increased Inequalities

There are also large inequalities in our community- found in the One Economy Report the State of Black Polk County done by the Director’s Council. The report found that 69% of the black population rents their home compared to 33% of the general population. And Of the renter population -of that 69%, 53% are cost burden meaning they spend more than 30 percent of their income toward rent and utilities.


Gentrification is occurring in previously redlined neighborhoods. Many of these inner neighborhoods are close to downtowns which have seen large quantities of revitalization to draw people back to them. So now the inner neighborhoods are being primed for investment, but not for the people who live there, but for those that can afford it.

Why is this topic important to understand?