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.

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

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