Since banks constricted credit immediately after the 2008 housing bust, they have been slowly increasing the amount they’re lending. But this economic prosperity has not reached everyone. Reveal’s yearlong analysis of 31 million mortgage records found that in 61 metro areas across the country, people of color are denied loans at disproportionately higher rates than white applicants.

In the second part of our two-part series for PBS NewsHour, we return to Philadelphia, one of the largest cities where our analysis found high rates of denials for black applicants. The 40-year-old Community Reinvestment Act was meant to prevent this from happening. Passed in 1977 by President Jimmy Carter, it forced banks to lend in low-income communities and to low-income applicants. But the law didn’t anticipate a day when historically black neighborhoods would be sought out by young white homebuyers. So in cities such as Philadelphia, banks are helping white newcomers instead of longtime residents.


  • Read: For people of color, banks are shutting the door to homeownership
  • Read: Gentrification became low-income lending law’s unintended consequence
  • Read: 8 lenders that aren’t serving people of color for home loans
  • Listen: The red line: Racial disparities in lending
  • Learn: How we did our analysis
  • Explore: Search for lending disparities where you live, or text LOAN to 202-873-8325 to Reveal. Standard text rates apply.
  • Read: The full white paper
  • Watch: Struggle for black and Latino mortgage applicants suggests modern-day redlining

Aaron Glantz

Data Reporter
Emmanuel Martinez

Rachel de Leon

Senior Producers
David Ritsher
Richard Coolidge

Rachel de Leon
Jaywon Chloe
Kimberly Paynter

Ringo Chiu/Zuma Press
Alamy Stock Photo

Production Assistants
Cody Knoblauch
Matthew MacLean

Executive Producer
Amanda Pike
Sara Just

Editor in Chief
Amy Pyle

Produced for
PBS NewsHour

Supported by
The Fledgling Fund

Rachel de Leon is a reporter and  producer for TV and documentaries for Reveal. De Leon has worked in video for more than 10 years as a videographer and producer. Throughout 2017, she was the coordinating producer for Glassbreaker Films – an initiative from The Center for Investigative Reporting to support female filmmakers – helping to produce five half-hour documentaries for national and festival distribution, and more than 20 online minidocumentaries. In 2016, she won two Emmys for her work on the web series "The Dead Unknown" and the PBS NewsHour segment "Deadly Oil Fields." In 2014, she completed her first short documentary, “Cab City,” for her master’s thesis in the documentary program at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. De Leon is based in Reveal’s Emeryville, California, office.

David Ritsher is the senior editor for TV and documentaries for Reveal. He has produced and edited award-winning investigative documentaries for over 15 years, on subjects ranging from loose nukes in Russia to Latino gangs in Northern California. His work has appeared on FRONTLINE, PBS NewsHour, ABC News, National Geographic, Discovery, KQED and other national broadcast outlets. Before joining CIR, David was the coordinating producer for FRONTLINE/World for over six broadcast seasons and championed much of its experimentation with video on the web.