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Today's conditions bear similarities to a map from 1937
When the Home Owner’s Loan Corporation (HOLC) was started under FDR’s New Deal, its job was to revive residential lending during the Great Depression. In this role, it mapped Syracuse and other cities to guide lending decisions by banks and limit the risk of default. The map of Syracuse on this poster was produced by HOLC in 1937 and sorted the city into four “grades” based on lending risks, with green areas (“A”) representing low risk to banks and red areas (“D”) representing the highest risk.
Comparison of 2022 Property Conditions and 1937 Area Grades
This cross-analysis shows the percentage of current properties that are within 1937 “C” boundaries and also within the boundaries of today’s housing demand categories. For example, 6% of properties that fall within the historical boundaries of “C” areas are currently in areas of “well above average” housing demand.
Decades of suburbanization without growth have shaped Syracuse's housing market
Population of City of Syracuse and the Remainder of Onondaga County Since 1950
Change in the Number of Housing Units and Households in the City of Syracuse, 1950-2020
Syracuse's suburbanization reflects, in part, decades of racial and economic segregation
No understanding of the history of housing and suburbanization in the Syracuse region (or any region) is complete without an understanding of the role that racial segregation played in limiting the housing and economic opportunities of Black residents. Segregated settlement patterns that spanned the 20th century persist well into the 21st.
Distribution of Onondaga County Households in the City and Suburbs by Income, 1980-2020