View Full Version : New Orleans' blacks face rental housing discrimination

lord patch
04-30-2007, 01:28 PM
New Orleans' blacks face rental housing discrimination
Posted by: "Horace W Coleman"


[New Orleans Times-Picayune]

Rental divide

Friday, April 27, 2007

Finding housing hasn't been easy for some residents post-Katrina. But it
isn't merely a shortage of affordable rental units that is making the
search for housing so difficult.

A study by Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center found black
residents encountered racism nearly six times out of 10 when trying to
rent an apartment in Jefferson, Orleans, St. Bernard and St. Tammany
parishes. Any evidence of racism is worrisome, but these numbers are
especially disturbing.

The fair housing organization used a common, court-sanctioned method to
test for racial discrimination by comparing the experiences of black
applicants with those of similarly situated white applicants.

There were dramatic differences in how the two groups were treated.

Black testers were put through a more rigorous application process, were
frequently not told about all available apartments and sometimes couldn't
even get a phone call returned. In one instance, a black tester was told
a unit rented for $1,000 even though it had been advertised at $850. In
another, a black tester was told a unit wouldn't be available for six
weeks, but a white tester was told the same unit and a second unit would
open up in three weeks. This landlord told the white tester that he
didn't want "certain types of people" living there.

James Perry, the group's executive director, said it was disappointing to
find such a high rate of discrimination. He hopes, though, that the study
will make renters aware of their rights under fair housing laws. "Equal
access to housing is a civil right and an essential component in the
rebuilding process," he said.

It is both of those things, and landlords ought to know that they cannot
legally reject renters based on race. Of course, the ones who practice
discrimination generally do so in a covert way. Unless black renters know
how white renters are treated by a particular landlord, they might just
think they are having bad luck.

The study does not reveal exactly where the test apartments are located
and who the landlords are, but Mr. Perry says his group will pursue legal
action against violators. That is appropriate.

Apartment owners can't be allowed to reject renters based on their skin
color. It is wrong, and in a community left in tatters by flooding, it's
downright hard-hearted.



Survey: Blacks face housing bias in N.O.

4/25/2007, 9:58 a.m. CT

The Associated Press

NEW ORLEANS (AP) ' Blacks already feeling the pinch from a housing
shortage in the New Orleans area after Hurricane Katrina are facing
racial discrimination in their search for rental property, a survey by
housing advocates found.

The survey sent black and white "testers" ' paired by matching incomes,
careers, family types and rental histories ' to inquire about openings at
40 rental properties in metropolitan New Orleans.

The findings, released Tuesday by the Greater New Orleans Fair Housing
Action Center, found blacks encountered "less favorable treatment" than
their white counterparts in 57.5 percent of those tests.

In one example, an agent told the black tester who responded to an
apartment ad on Jan. 22 that only one unit was available, and not until
February. The same agent told the white tester later that day that two
units would available Feb. 1 and mentioned two other units.

Tammy Esponge, association executive for the Apartment Association of
Greater New Orleans, she has no reason to believe housing discrimination
is more acute in New Orleans than in other parts of the country.

"There's discrimination all the time out there ' not just in the
apartment market. I'm talking all over the place," she said. "But we are
highly in support of our members enforcing the fair housing laws."

She said her group offers annual fair housing training seminars for its
members, which include 34 owners and managers of 20,000 rental units in
southeast Louisiana.

James Perry, executive director of the Greater New Orleans Fair Housing
Action Center, said the group intends to sue several landlords.

"At a time when people need housing desperately, we really can't stand to
have discrimination occurring," Perry said.



From the Los Angeles Times

New Orleans' blacks see rental block
African Americans seeking rentals face discrimination and fewer
accommodations, a study finds.
By Ann M. Simmons
Times Staff Writer

April 25, 2007

NEW ORLEANS ' African Americans seeking rental housing in the New Orleans
metropolitan area face significant discrimination and fewer
accommodations to choose from since Hurricane Katrina, a report released
Tuesday found.

In 6 out of 10 transactions, African Americans faced less favorable
treatment than comparably qualified whites, the report said.

"For Rent, Unless You're Black," a study by the Greater New Orleans Fair
Housing Action Center, surveyed 40 properties in the parishes of Orleans,
Jefferson, St. Tammany and St. Bernard.

Race-based housing discrimination exists in many U.S. cities, but
discrimination against blacks in New Orleans was particularly egregious
given the housing shortage, said James Perry, executive director of the
Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center.

The shortage resulting from the loss of homes in hurricanes Katrina and
Rita is already difficult to overcome, Perry said.

"It's unfathomable that on top of that, African Americans have to deal
with discrimination," he added.

The storms destroyed more than 200,000 homes and apartments in Louisiana
' the majority of them in the New Orleans metropolitan area ' according
to Louisiana statistics.

The study comes as fair housing advocates say some local governments and
politicians are using zoning and other policies to discourage poor and
minority residents from living in their neighborhoods.

Last fall, St. Bernard Parish passed an ordinance that required owners of
single-family homes there, more than 90% of whom are white, to rent only
to blood relatives ' making it almost impossible for nonwhites to rent in
the parish. Faced with a legal challenge, the ordinance was repealed.

Jefferson Parish politicians have passed a resolution aimed at limiting
the construction of low-income units. In Orleans Parish, strong community
opposition forced two councilwomen to drop a proposal to put a moratorium
on building multifamily housing in their districts.

Anthony Keck, president of the Greater New Orleans Housing Action Center
board of directors, cited fair housing practices as crucial to New
Orleans' recovery.

"In order to attract people back to the city, we really need to tackle
housing discrimination," Keck said.

In an investigation between September 2006 and April 2007, the fair
housing action center followed black and white would-be renters as they
tried to lease properties from private landlords. The "testers" were from
the same income bracket, on similar career paths and had matching family
and rental histories, said Thena Robinson, the group's coordinator of

They received classroom and field training, were taught to be objective
fact-finders and told "to report, but not interpret, the results of the
test," she said.

The rental units were randomly selected from print and Internet listings.

African American testers were offered fewer appointments to view units,
according to housing advocates. In some instances, black testers were
told applications were not being accepted, but hours later white testers
were offered appointments to visit the same unit. In other cases, African
American renters were told units would not be available anytime soon, but
white testers were advised of immediate availability.

In one example, black and white testers responded to an advertisement for
an apartment in Orleans Parish on Jan. 22. An agent told the black tester
that only one unit was available, and not until the end of February. The
black would-be renter was allowed to view the apartment only through a

Later that day, the same agent showed a white tester two units that would
be available Feb. 1. That renter also was advised of another unit coming
available March 1.

According to the report, African Americans were often quoted higher rents
than those advertised, or different lease terms and conditions, and
steered to less favorable units. In many instances, the report charged
that landlords used "linguistic profiling" to determine whether to return
calls from African Americans inquiring about certain units.

"What we saw were subtle differences that a person looking for housing
might not be able to detect unless they were able to compare their
experience with another person," Perry said.

The fair housing advocates would not identify the properties targeted in
the tests or the testers.

The Civil Rights Act of 1968, a portion of which is known as the Fair
Housing Act, prohibits race discrimination in housing, and protects
people trying to rent or buy a home, secure a mortgage, or purchase
homeowners insurance.

Perry said his group would seek legal action against the landlords.

04-30-2007, 03:58 PM
Omg...This Rascial Discrimination Needs To end, Theres no Need of it. Everyone needs a Place to Rest their Heads at Nightime. D:


05-01-2007, 01:26 AM
what's the big deal here? their property, their decision.

05-01-2007, 01:34 AM

model tenants i'm sure

Wu-tang Fan
05-02-2007, 06:08 AM
Honestly, the fuck? Is there any reason why the salesppl are doing this or not? Why exactly do they demand higher than sales prices? What is the reason behind this madness!!??