Fair Housing vs. Unfair Housing

Do you know the difference?

Knowing the difference between fair housing and unfair housing isn't as obvious as you might think. This blog aims to present a variety of important and interesting fair housing issues.

If you're an apartment professional, avoid costly mistakes by reading the stories of others who — even with good intentions — learned compliance lessons the hard way. (For the easy way, click here.)

If you live in an apartment, get familiar with your rights when it comes to housing discrimination, as well as your options for seeking justice.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

The Game of the Name

A study reported in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology (vol. 36, issue 4, April 12, 2006) showed that just a prospect’s name can influence a landlord to make housing decisions based on racial stereotypes. Researchers sent 1,115 e-mails in 2003 to Los Angeles County landlords in response to advertisements for available apartments. The e-mail queries were randomly signed using one of three names that implied either Arab, African-American, or white ethnicity. The researchers sent these e-mails over a 10-week period — six weeks before the Iraq War began and four weeks during the conflict.

The result: The e-mails that were signed using the Arab name got significantly fewer positive responses than the ones signed using the white name, and the e-mails signed using the African-American name did even worse. This pattern persisted in all rent categories, in corporate and privately owned apartment complexes, and both before and during the war in Iraq.

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