Community-based organizations (CBOs) dealing with immigrants, families with children, the disabled and other underserved consumers are reporting that housing discrimination remains a widespread problem in the U.S., according to a new survey of 549 CBOs issued by Consumer Action.
According to the survey, seven out of 10 CBOs say that housing discrimination is a ‘very serious’ or ‘somewhat serious’ problem for the people they serve. Roughly half of CBOs (48%) agree that housing discrimination is a ‘very serious’ problem today. Four times more CBOs have ‘seen housing discrimination go up in the last two years’ than those that reported a drop in the same period, by a margin of 40% to 11%.
Furthermore, 65% of the CBOs surveyed say the level of awareness of housing discrimination rights among the individuals they serve is ‘somewhat low’ or ‘very low.’
The three main distinguishing features of individuals seeking help from CBOs on housing discrimination problems were disability (77%), race (62%) and family status (60%).
‘Housing discrimination is all too alive and well in the U.S. today,’ says Ken McEldowney, executive director of Consumer Action. ‘In fact, the changing face of housing discrimination now tends to zero in more on immigrants, the disabled and families with children than in the past. The ever-shifting focus of housing discrimination makes it doubly hard to root out, since CBOs and other agencies concerned with the problem must constantly educate different segments of the population.’
The full details of the Consumer Action survey on housing discrimination are available online.