Mortgaging Out

Mortgaging Out

FHA Credit, Redlining, and Rental Housing in Metropolitan America

Brent Cebul

Assistant Professor, History, Penn

Michael Glass

Assistant Professor, History, Boston College


Laura Eckstein and J.D. Porter

Project Start Date: 
September, 2022

“Mortgaging Out” is a digital history project that illuminates the  impact of Federal Housing Administration credit policies  on the availability of affordable rental housing during and immediately following World War II. Scholars have illuminated the impact of redlining on  mortgage lending, demonstrating how African American homebuyers, in particular, were often locked out of the midcentury housing boom. This project shifts the focus to FHA-insured apartment complexes. Drawing upon  a comprehensive data set FHA mortgage insurance data that catalogues more than 50,000 FHA-insured apartment buildings, the project maps the location, size (by unit count), and construction dates of roughly 7,000 projects constructed under the FHA wartime housing program (Section 608, 1942-1950). Future versions of the map may include FHA-backed market-rate multifamily housing (Section 207) as well as multifamily rental projects on urban renewal sites (Section 220) and for those displaced from urban renewal sites (Section 221).