LOS ANGELES – A new exhibit aims to show how housing discrimination has contributed to segregation across Los Angeles for decades.

  • “Undesign the Redline” exhibit sheds light on discrimination
  • Aims to show how gentrification is still impacting the city
  • Shows how homeless crisis and housing issues go hand in hand

Esai Vergara is adding his idea to one of the boards at the “Undesign the Redline” exhibit at Los Angeles Trade Tech College.

The exhibit asks students to give their opinions on what they would do to “undesign the redline” and Vergara has included “removing cash-bail.”

“A lot of minorities living in these communities don’t have money to afford bail,” said Vergara.

Supervisor Mark-Ridley Thomas has kept an eye on social injustices like redlining and predatory lending practices over his 35 years of work. He can speak to the history of how deed covenants were used to deny home ownership.

“So in the case of Shelley-versus Kraemer, meant that if you weren’t of a particular ethnic profile then you could not purchase property there,” said Thomas.

Various points of discrimination are shown in this exhibit tracing the history and legacy of housing discrimination and segregation across LA. It explains redlining’s roots and the repercussions that are still felt today.

Vergara is interested in public policy. He is on his neighborhood council and wants to draft policies to help LA’s affordable housing crisis. He cares deeply about people who are impacted by gentrification.

“You could see that around the Crenshaw mall, and a lot of people are fighting these issues and it hurts that a lot of the people who are living there who are struggling day in and day out that are at risk of becoming homeless,” said Vergara.

It is hard to avoid LA’s homeless crisis when speaking about housing.

The supervisor, along with the Mayor, will announce the findings of a report next week that has found that the impact of institutional racism, like redlining in housing, has contributed to and is intertwined with homelessness.

Vergara says exhibits like this are an important step to solving problems, which he hopes will help to undesign the redline.