At Habitat for Humanity of Northern Virginia, we understand that housing is deeply interwoven with social issues, both past and present. When talking about housing, it’s important to address issues such racism and health, as both play a critical role in how families can or cannot access affordable homeownership opportunities.

To build a better and more just Northern Virginia, we need to build communities that are diverse and inclusive. By better understanding past and current challenges, we can better achieve our mission.

Below is a resource list of articles, books, and videos from experts where you can learn more about a variety of societal issues.

Housing & Race

  • Segregated by Design: A video that examines the forgotten history of how our federal, state and local governments unconstitutionally segregated every major metropolitan area in America through law and policy.
  • The Color of Law: Richard Rothstein argues with exacting precision and fascinating insight how segregation in America—the incessant kind that continues to dog our major cities and has contributed to so much recent social strife—is the byproduct of explicit government policies at the local, state, and federal levels.
  • How historic housing discrimination against Black Americans contributes to racial inequities today: Habitat for Humanity hosted a discussion on how historic housing discrimination against Black Americans contributes to racial inequities today with Richard Rothstein, author of The Color of Law, Distinguished Fellow of the Economic Policy Institute and a Senior Fellow (emeritus) at the Thurgood Marshall Institute of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, Alexi McCammond, political reporter for Axios (Moderator), and Dwayne Spencer, president and CEO of Habitat for Humanity of Greater Memphis
  • Evicted: Matthew Desmond transforms our understanding of poverty and economic exploitation while providing fresh ideas for solving one of twenty-first-century America’s most devastating problems. Its unforgettable scenes of hope and loss remind us of the centrality of home, without which nothing else is possible.
  • Redlining was banned 50 years ago. It’s still hurting minorities today by Tracey Jan (Washington Post)
  • The Racial Segregation of American Cities Was Anything But Accidental by Katie Nodjimbadem (

  • One home, a lifetime of impact by Michele Lerner (Washington Post)

Housing & Health

Have any article, book, or video recommendations to add to our list? Please email [email protected] and let us know!