Black Women With Criminal Records Face Housing Discrimination
Is DC the real Chocolate City?
A new study shows the pervasive housing discrimination in the District based on race, even when both white and Black applicants have similar criminal records, according to an analysis released today by the Equal Rights Center, reports Washington City Paper:
The study found that nearly half (47 percent) of the tests showed that landlords favored the white female potential tenant. Additionally, 28 percent of the tests “revealed a criminal records screening policy in place that may have an illegal disparate impact on the basis of race” under the federal Fair Housing Act. ERC explains that possibly discriminatory treatment fell into one of three categories: a landlord gave different information or quality of service to the testing pair; the landlord “reacted differently” when a tester disclosed their criminal past; or the landlord speculated about whether a tester’s criminal record would affect their housing application.
One example of discrimination shows a provider telling a Black applicant that they’ll be rejected for prior felonies then informing a white applicant their felony would be to the discretion of the property…
ERC calculates that more than 4,600 housing units in the greater D.C. region would be unavailable to tenants with “any felony conviction from any point in time, and to many individuals with a misdemeanor conviction,” therefore unfairly harming people of color.
Read the entire study HERE.
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