Housing discrimination remains in U.S., new study shows

By SUZANNE GAMBOA Modified: June 11, 2013 at 10:29 pm •  Published: June 12, 2013
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“That's typical of the kind of unequal treatment we observed across metropolitan housing markets nationwide,” said Margery Turner, senior vice president for program planning and management at the Washington-based Urban Institute.

“It's fundamentally unfair somebody would get information about fewer homes and apartments just because of the color of their skin. But it also really raises the cost of housing search for minorities and it restricts the housing choices available to them,” Turner said.

Donovan added that discrimination affects minorities' ability to move to communities with better schools, denying their children the best education; to move to safer neighborhoods; and to relocate to an area with job openings, thus affecting financial security.

Turner said paired testing can't capture all the forms of discrimination that might occur. Also because testers presented themselves as unambiguously well qualified for the apartments, the results don't reflect the average minority home seeker. The study's findings may understate the level of discrimination, she said.