The current housing shortage with the overcrowded living conditions and substandard accommodations which it imposes on the most numerous classes of society has made particularly significant in the competition for housing areas the discriminations generally enforced against negroes and other racial minority groups. Both normal population growth and the suspension of new construction during the great depression and the late war have contributed to an emergency in which the circumstances of our negro population are materially worse than those of any other group. Aggravating this result has been the shift in negro population occasioned by the wartime demand for industrial labor, bringing large numbers of colored people from rural areas to factory centers when the demands of the war effort have made an adequate housing adjustment impossible. There can be no doubt that their relative poverty is the basic explanation for the dilapidated, congested and unsanitary living quarters in which apparently most of the negroes in the country are forced to live. But a factor in this result, not the less important because it cannot be weighed exactly, is the discrimination against negro purchase or occupancy of land in more modern and better built districts and the determined opposition which meets any attempt to expand the areas of negro occupancy in the. larger cities. The attitude of white property owners is in part simply race prejudice expressed in an unwillingness to have negroes as neighbors; but, more practically, it reflects the fear of a depreciation of property values produced by the white population's abandonment of any sections where negroes begin to settle.
John A. Huston S.Ed.,
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW-STATE COURT ENFORCEMENT OF RACE RESTRICTIVE COVENANTS AS STATE ACTION WITHIN SCOPE OF FOURTEENTH AMENDMENT,
Mich. L. Rev.
Available at: https://repository.law.umich.edu/mlr/vol45/iss6/5