Study: Race Affects Home Buying, Renting

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Source: Suzanne Gamboa / NBC Philadelphia

Minority renters and homebuyers deployed to test for housing discrimination did not run into the blatant discrimination of four decades ago, but were told about and shown fewer homes than their white counterparts with similar backgrounds, according to the results of a major federal housing study released Tuesday.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development deployed pairs of testers _ one white, one minority in each pair _ to do more than 8,000 tests separately across 28 metropolitan areas, including Philadelphia, in the $9 million study the Obama administration conducted last year. Testers’ were the same gender and age and presented themselves as equally qualified to rent or buy a unit in the study whose results were released Tuesday.

The blatant discrimination of literally slamming doors in the face of minorities that was found in a similar 1977 HUD study was less evident: minorities usually were able to get appointments and see at least one unit last year. However, blacks and Asian-Americans were treated differently than white counterparts often given fewer options.

The fair housing rights center in Southeastern Pennsylvania sent black, white, Hispanic and Asian testers to try to rent or buy the same properties.

“I went out to shake his hand but he didn’t want to shake my hand,” said one of the testers, an African American woman. “It was in South Philly. When I asked what was required he gave it to me but I had to ask for everything.”

To read this article in its entirety visit NBC Philadelphia.