Court Complaint Accuses Redfin's 'Minimum Price Policy' of Redlining Minority Neighborhoods

A bombshell investigation accuses an online real estate company of a contemporary form of redlining.

Read Time: 2 minutes

October 30, 2020, 6:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


Redlining

The map of Philadelphia included in the National Fair Housing Alliance's "Redfin Investigation" report. | National Fair Housing Alliance / Redfin Investigation

Gene Johnson reports that a number of fair housing organizations have filed a complaint in a U.S. District Court accusing Redfin of offering fewer services in minority communities. The file accuses the company and its policy of creating a contemporary form of redlining.

"On October 28, 2020, NFHA and the other nine organizations filed a lawsuit in the federal district court in Seattle, WA, alleging that Redfin’s minimum price policy has a substantial adverse impact on sellers and buyers based on race and national origin," according to the National Fair Housing Alliance website. The lawsuit grew from a National Fair Housing Alliance investigation into Redfin's minimum price policy.

Redfin's minimum price policy only allow premium services for homes listed at certain prices, which depend and vary by real estate market. The investigation "found that Redfin offered 'No Service' for homes in non-White areas at a greater rate than for homes in White areas. Also, Redfin offered its 'Best Available Service' at a significantly greater rate in extremely White zip codes compared to extremely non-White zip codes," according to the National Fair Housing Alliance, which also put out a press release to announce the complaint.

A lot more detail and context is available from the Associated Press article, which was picked up the same day by outlets as varied in geography and focus as Al JazeeraChicago Tribune, The Philadelphia Tribune, and ABC News.

Wednesday, October 28, 2020 in National Fair Housing Alliance

Chicago Commute

The Right to Mobility

As we consider how to decarbonize transportation, preserving mobility, especially for lower- and middle-income people, must be a priority.

January 26, 2023 - Angie Schmitt

Green bike lane with flexible delineators and textures paint in Hoboken, New Jersey

America’s Best New Bike Lanes

PeopleForBikes highlights some of the most exciting new bike infrastructure projects completed in 2022.

January 31, 2023 - PeopleforBikes

Sharrow bike markings on black asphalt two-lane road with snowy trees

Early Sharrow Booster: ‘I Was Wrong’

The lane marking was meant to raise awareness and instill shared respect among drivers and cyclists. But their inefficiency has led supporters to denounce sharrows, pushing instead for more robust bike infrastructure that truly protects riders.

January 26, 2023 - Streetsblog USA

A tent covered in blue and black tarps sits on a downtown Los Angeles sidewalk with the white ziggurat-topped L.A. City Hall looming in the background

L.A. County Towns Clash Over Homelessness Policies

Local governments often come to different conclusions about how to address homelessness within their respective borders, but varying approaches only exacerbate the problem.

February 3 - Shelterforce Magazine

Rendering of mixed-use development with parks and stormwater retention on former Houston landfill site

A Mixed-Use Vision for Houston Landfill Site

A local nonprofit is urging the city to consider adding mixed-use development to the site, which city officials plan to turn into a stormwater detention facility.

February 3 - Urban Edge

Aerial view of downtown Milwaukee, Wisconsin at sunset

Milwaukee County Makes Substantial Progress on Homelessness

In 2022, the county’s point-in-time count of unhoused people reflected just 18 individuals, the lowest in the country.

February 3 - Urban Milwaukee