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.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Judging by the Color of One's Voice

Fair Housing Marin, a fair housing advocacy organization in California's Marin County, conducted a survey that involved having black and white testers (posing as prospects) call 25 local landlords who had advertised apartments on Craigslist.

The result, according to an article in the Marin Independent Journal, was that eight of the landlords — nearly a third — showed less favorable treatment to the black callers. This included not returning the black callers' phone messages, offering them higher rent or less flexible terms, not telling them about as many available apartments, and not answering their questions about the advertised rentals.

Interesting to note:

1) This is the first time the organization has conducted a survey to test for discrimination based only on telephone conversations.

2) Before conducting the survey, Fair Housing Marin taped the voices of their testers and had them evaluated by a community panel, which reportedly was able to identify each tester as black or white.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow. I don't know what to say. Judging by the color of one's voice? That seems like a real stretch. Just the idea smacks of racism.