May 8, 2018

Even in the capital, housing discrimination continues

WAMU, Washington DC -“The overwhelming majority of fair housing cases do not get reported,” says Rice, CEO of the D.C.-based National Fair Housing Alliance. “People don’t recognize signs of discrimination. They don’t know when it’s happening.”

“People don’t recognize signs of discrimination. They don’t know when it’s happening.”

Fifty years after the Fair Housing Act was enacted to protect Americans from housing discrimination, the practice is alive and well, Rice says. Even in jurisdictions with strong fair-housing laws like Montgomery County and Washington, D.C., housing discrimination leads people to exhaust their time and resources searching for a home, remain in unsafe housing or even fall into homelessness.

But impediments to fair housing are harder to recognize than they once were, Rice says, and homeseekers today confront roadblocks that are systemic and difficult to pinpoint.

People of color in D.C. are much more likely than whites to be denied conventional home loans, according to a recent report by Reveal, a radio program produced by the Center for Investigative Reporting.

Reveal found that black, Latino, Asian and Native American homeseekers in the District are denied home loans at twice the rate as whites. It also discovered that JPMorgan Chase & Co., one of the region’s biggest lenders, provides far fewer loans to African Americans and Latinos than it does for whites.

People of color also face barriers to credit that can determine where they can or can’t live. When landlords use credit history to size up housing applicants, Rice says, that locks out people who have spotty credit or are “credit invisible.”

No comments: