Rental market wired for housing #discrimination

(Boston Herald) It helps to be white if you are trying to rent in Boston. At least those who advertise apartments on Craigslist clearly prefer to rent to white rather than to African-American or Hispanic households.

According to real estate industry sources and a 2010 survey by the Pew Research Center, more than half of all homeseekers today utilize the Internet in their search for housing with Craigslist being the primary search engine. Between January and May of 2009 we submitted responses to a representative sample of 739 housing providers who advertised rental units on Craigslist in metro Boston. Each provider received similar e-mail responses from three equally qualified “testers” – one with a white sounding name (Matthew O’Brien or Neil Baker); one with an African-American sounding name (Tremayne Robinson or Tyrone Jackson); and one with a Hispanic sounding name (Pedro Gonzales or Jorge Rodriguez). (We also tested 726 housing providers in Dallas with similar results.)

The discrimination was not the overt, explicit, door-slamming type common a few decades ago. But though more subtle, it was clear. Initially most of the testers appeared to be treated similarly. But as we moved deeper into the search process the disparities grew.

Full story…

Tags: ,

Comments are closed.

Subscribe to RSS feed