1968–Present: Housing Discrimination
Through testing, the FHCGB has found that: African Americans and Latinos experience discrimination in half of their attempts to rent, purchase, or finance homes in greater Boston.
Families with children and people with Section 8 vouchers are discriminated against two-thirds of the time when seeking rental housing.
What Form Does Discrimination Take?
African Americans and Latinos were:
- Shown fewer homes and told about fewer listings
- Asked more questions about their qualifications
- Steered to other communities, to lower priced homes or to open houses
- Required to provide 24 to 48 hours notice before viewing houses
- Quoted higher loan rates and offered fewer discounts on closing costs
Advantages of Whiteness:
- White testers presumed more qualified
- White testers given greater access to properties
- White testers given more information
- White testers given lower loan rates, better discounts
- White testers more likely to succeed in home buying
Evidence of Discrimination in Newton (audit completed in 2005)
- Overall, testing showed evidence of discrimination in 11 of the 24 paired tests, or 45.8%.
- Discrimination based on National Origin was the most common: 66%.
- Discrimination based on Race happened in 50% of the tests.
- Families with children and discrimination based on Source of Income both happened 33% of the time.
Evidence of Discrimination in Lowell (Audit completed in 2004)
- Overall, testing showed evidence of discrimination 31 of the 66 paired tests conducted, or 47%.
- Latino testers experienced the highest incidence of discrimination: 63%.
- African Americans experienced discrimination in 52% of the tests
- Asians experienced discrimination in 38% of the tests
- Families with children faced discrimination in 33% of the tests
Mortgage Lending Discrimination Today:
- Mortgage discrimination testing revealed differences in treatment that disadvantaged homebuyers of color 45% of the time. (FHCGB Audit 2005-2006)
- Upper income African Americans are 8 times more likely to have high cost loans than their white counterparts. (MA Community Banking Council)
- The presence of high-risk lenders is 3.7 greater in minority neighborhoods than in white neighborhoods (Paying More for the American Dream, 2008)
- Upper and middle income African Americans and Latinos are 10 times more likely to have high cost loans that low income whites. (MA Community Banking Council)