Blacks Still Face Job and Housing Discrimination
Reports Show Problems to be Pervasive, Extensive
Stacy M. Brown | 6/26/2013, noon
The Urban Institute conducted a study using a “paired testing” method to collect data. In paired testing, two individuals, one white and the other a minority, posed as equally-qualified home buyers and inquired about available houses or apartments. Each tester independently recorded the treatment they experienced, including information about the houses or apartments that were recommended and shown.
All of the data was returned to the Urban Institute, where statisticians crunched the numbers to systematically compare how minorities and whites were treated. Researchers compared the results of white and minority home buyers in 28 major metropolitan areas, including the Washington D.C. Metro area.
Testers discovered that African-American home buyers learned about the existence of 17 percent fewer houses and were shown 18 percent fewer properties than whites. On the renters’ side, 11 percent fewer properties were advertised as available to blacks while they were shown 4 percent fewer units than whites.
“While discrimination may not be as obvious as it was in the 1960s, the study reminds us that we still aren’t living up to the principles upon which this nation was founded,” said Bryan Greene, HUD acting assistant secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity.
Jobs and housing discrimination underscore some of the barriers facing African Americans in terms of economic parity and opportunity, Muhammad said.
“Whether it’s disproportionately incarcerating African Americans, the targeting of African Americans with predatory lending, or the historic lack of wealth in our communities due to discrimination, all of these factors maintain an economic racial divide that shows no promise of being bridged in the foreseeable future,” he said.