Indian Removal Act: One of the US's earliest policies of racial segregation and economic dispossession and isolation was this 1830 act of Congress. The removal of Native people from their ancestral lands in the US southeast to federal lands west of the Mississippi river was the beginning of an economic and social isolation that persists today.
 
Restrictive covenants: From the 1910s through the 1940s, restrictive covenants governed the sale and purchase of homes in ways that prevented African American, Mexican American and other non-white groups from moving into white neighborhoods and helped create many of the United States' most segregated cities.
 
FHA redlining: Starting in the 1930s, Federal Housing Administration policy limited the degree to which credit (largely mortgages, but not exclusively) was extended to minority communities. This disinvestment helped segregation become entrenched, led to urban decay, and is a major contributor to the wealth disparity between white and African Americans.
 
White flight: In the mid-20th century, overwhelming numbers of white families began moving out of racially diverse urban areas and into all-white suburbs, causing the value of homes in increasingly African American neighborhoods to plummet. Today, gentrification is a "white return" of sorts, driving up home values in previously economically depressed neighborhoods and displacing poor residents (largely people of color).
 
Predatory lending: Access to credit to purchase a home is less restricted today, but predatory lending is a recent practice that attaches unjustifiably punitive terms to those mortgages and leads to higher foreclosure rates and a growing racial wealth disparity.

 

Historical and contemporary structural injustices in housing have contributed to the racial wealth gap by concentrating poverty geographically and perpetuating it intergenerationally.