Mortgage Discrimination

Mortgage discrimination is when lenders either deny a loan or give a higher interest rate than the borrow qualifies for, based on things like race or neighborhood.

Mortgage discrimination used to be an official policy of the Federal government. This practice was known as redlining. Redlining is an example of structural racism, where the way the system is built reinforces inequality. Redlining led to disinvestment in neighborhoods of color, which reduced health and wealth.

Redlining was outlawed decades ago. Unfortunately, mortgage discrimination is still happening. And it is still harming the health of people of color.

Areas that experience mortgage discrimination also face environmental challenges. They may have higher levels of pollution. Or have higher temperatures and fewer trees. Or lack safe sidewalks. All of which are correlated with worse health outcomes.

Experiencing mortgage discrimination also increases risk of unstable housing. Housing instability is linked to a variety of poor health outcomes.

Why Is Mortgage Discrimination Data Important?

These data help us understand the ongoing damage from mortgage discrimination in Washington.

Historical lending discrimination is linked to negative health outcomes. These modern data can be used to identify connections between current discrimination and health outcomes.

What’s Here

WTN provides data from the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act for:

  • number of home loans
  • number of high interest home loans
  • percent of high interest home loans
  • total number of housing units

The measure combines data from 2018 through 2021. The data are available at the census tract level. It can be viewed as a table on our Data Portal, or as an overlay on our Environmental Health Disparities map.

View the Data

Mortgage Discrimination Data

Environmental Health Disparities Map

Learn More

Mortgage Discrimination Data Technical Notes (PDF)

Additional Resources

The legacy of structural racism: Associations between historic redlining, current mortgage lending, and health - PubMed (

50 years after being outlawed, redlining still drives neighborhood health inequities - UC Berkeley Public Health

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