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Place-based social exclusion: redlining in the Netherlands

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‘Redlining’ is a form of place-based exclusion. It is widely documented in the US, but not in Europe. This paper focuses on a comparative analysis of redlining practices in the two largest cities of the Netherlands: Amsterdam and Rotterdam. It shows that redlining was common practice in Rotterdam in 1999. In 2001, no signs of redlining were found in Rotterdam. However, ‘yellowlining’ (lower loan-to-value ratios) was still common in some parts of Rotterdam. In Amsterdam, no neighbourhoods were faced with redlining in either 1999 or 2001. However, in 1999 some neighbourhoods were yellowlined. This paper aims to get a better understanding of the nature and the institutional context of redlining in the Netherlands by explaining how the differences in redlining practices between Amsterdam and Rotterdam, and between 1999 and 2001, can be explained. The National Mortgage Guarantee as well as socio-historical, and housing and mortgage market differences and changes, are instrumental in explaining these differences in redlining practices.

Keywords: Amsterdam; Rotterdam; mortgages; neighbourhood; redlining; social exclusion; the Netherlands

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: AMIDSt Amsterdam Institute for Metropolitan and International Development Studies, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Email:

Publication date: 2005-03-01

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