Evidence Matters Features Housing Discrimination, Segregation, and Fair Housing Enforcement

The spring/summer 2014 issue of Evidence Matters: Transforming Knowledge Into Housing and Community Development Policy, focusing on the impacts of housing discrimination and segregation on communities and efforts to combat it, is now available online with print copies being mailed soon. The issue details the frustratingly persistent nature of segregation and discrimination as well as the costs borne by minority households as a result. It outlines current efforts to measure the scope of the problem and highlights the strategies used by three nonprofit organizations to enforce fair housing law, fight housing discrimination, and promote housing choice for all.

Key Findings

  • Even as overt forms of housing discrimination diminish, subtle forms, such as racial steering, persist in rental and sales markets reinforcing existing patterns of segregation.
  • High rates of segregation in the United States restrict the access of minority households to neighborhoods rich in amenities and opportunities and negatively impact the health, education, and other life outcomes of those households.
  • Paired testing, which compares the treatment received by individuals posing as housing applicants, is an important research and enforcement tool for assessing discrimination in the housing market.
  • Fair housing enforcement organizations engage in activities that promote housing choice, advocate for antidiscriminatory housing policies, undertake initiatives to build inclusive communities, and provide fair housing training and education. 
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