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Friday, November 22, 2019

NYT Editorial Board: An investigation reveals widespread housing discrimination against blacks and other minorities in New York's suburbs, more than 50 years after the Fair Housing Act.




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Newsday sent white investigators posing as buyers to meet with 93 real estate agents about 5,763 listings across Long Island. Then, they sent a second buyer " either black, Hispanic or Asian " to meet with the same agents. The practice is a gold-standard methodology known as "paired testing," in which real estate agents are contacted by pairs of prospective clients with similar financial profiles.

Black testers were treated differently than white ones 49 percent of the time. Hispanic buyers encountered unequal treatment 39 percent of the time and Asian buyers 19 percent of the time.

Along with steering minority testers to majority-minority areas, and white testers to mostly white areas, some agents required black buyers to meet additional financial conditions that they didn't demand of white buyers with the same profile.

The agents gave white buyers an average of 50 percent more listings than black buyers. Some declined to do business in areas with large minority populations.

The discrimination found by Newsday flagrantly violates the Fair Housing Act, approved as part of the 1968 Civil Rights Act, banning discrimination in housing based on race, religion, national origin, sex, handicap or family status.

Just another day in modern America for far too many citizens, and another example of how society still does not enforce laws when it comes to guaranteeing equality for many minorities.

#1 | Posted by tonyroma at 2019-11-21 09:44 PM | Reply

Enforcement is key but there is no enforcement because we live in an oligarchy. It is pervasive in many other areas where government is supposed to be enforcing regulations. I personally know of some where rules are broken without consequences just because the owners of the businesses contribute to the GOP regularly. That is just a fact of life in Amerika today.

#2 | Posted by danni at 2019-11-22 08:25 AM | Reply

"Just another day in modern America for far too many citizens, and another example of how society still does not enforce laws when it comes to guaranteeing equality for many minorities."

I didn't see anything in this article about discrimination. If a person of one ethnicity had been prevented, or even deterred from purchasing a house in an area dominated by another ethnicity, you could characterize that as discrimination. But nothing like that was mentioned in the article.

#3 | Posted by madbomber at 2019-11-22 08:59 AM | Reply

Being the only person here who grew up on Long Island (14 - 21) I'm going to share a few anecdotes (may have shared before).

1. When my parents decided to leave NYC and move to Nassau County in 1987 they took me with them when they started to look at houses along the Nassau/Suffolk border, south shore. I distinctly remember the real estate agent driving us around one neighborhood telling my parents how there was only one black family in the neighborhood and pointed out the house as she drove by. She pointed out how the house was on the edge of town beside a major avenue with a lot of dangerous traffic, a place where it wasn't safe to let kids play out front so even their neighbors hardly saw them. Not sure how she knew about the last part. A couple years later my brother became friends with the kid who lived there. When he mentioned his new friend was black I knew exactly who he was talking about and where he lived. My brother thought it was insane that I would know that and for years after he secretly thought I was wildly racist for knowing it and wouldn't bring him around if I was hom. It wasn't until a few years back when I shared the story about the real estate agent that he realized why I knew. He apologized and we had a laugh. His friend now loves that story because I was always the hypocritcal hippie who was actually racist, to their friend group.

2. In the early 80s my mother's mother, who was diabetic and blind, had a stroke which left her completely debilitated, requiring around the clock care. After we moved to Long Island my mother's sister and mother moved to Hicksville, maybe ten minutes from where we lived. By that point my aunt had learned about what services were available to help with my grandmother and got her a home health aid. My grandmother was a lot to handle. She was still cognizant but couldn't speak in a way anyone could really understand, nor could she move at all without assistance, not to shower or use the bathroom. And she was always angry and complaining. You didn't understand a word she said but the tone was unmistakable. Anyway, she went through these aids periodically for the first year or two because it was a really tough job to take care of somebody who couldn't help themselves at all and was belligerent, resentful, and unappreciative of any help she received. The fourth aid that was assigned to her was a black woman. She was nice and seemed to not take it personally how nasty my grandmother could be. She would bring her young son over from time to time and occasionally her husband would come to pick them up and my aunt would have them stay for dinner. Sometimes he'd come with a friend who would stay in the care while they got their stuff together to leave. She worked there for maybe six months and one night my aunt and uncle awoke to the crackling sound of a fire in their front yard. Looking out they saw a seven foot tall cross burning. There were other things that happened over the next several months, letters encouraging them to move, a few tires popped and one time a brick thrown through the window to my grandmother's bedroom, landing on her chest. My aunt, nor the police (I know... surprising nobody) were able to identify any suspects. A few months later my grandmother passed away, and that was the last time there were any daily black visitors to their house and the actions stopped.

#4 | Posted by Hagbard_Celine at 2019-11-22 09:29 AM | Reply

3. My high school was on the border of three neighborhoods, one of which was predominantly black, which made up maybe 25% of the student body. The year before I came to that school there was a race riot (mad the papers) between the guidos and the black kids that started over one of the Italian girls being friendly with one of the black guys.

I share these stories because so many here look at NY as a monolith of liberalism but I know that where I grew up at least was extremely conservative and it does not surprise me when I hear stories about random acts of racism or of the institutional variety like is reported in this article.

#5 | Posted by Hagbard_Celine at 2019-11-22 09:29 AM | Reply

-I share these stories because so many here look at NY as a monolith of liberalism

How do you not? I don't visit NY and know virtually nothing about the place...which is why you'll never see me criticize it.

#6 | Posted by eberly at 2019-11-22 09:51 AM | Reply

They wanted that result in order to sell more. They've done it multiple times before. Where the trick people is when they use words like "similar". Similar can mean a huge disparity, like a black person's profile will have negative marks but the white person's won't. Then, when the black person is required to jump through more hoops, they say the profiles are similar to get the result they want. Then people read it and take it as gospel and racism just propagates.

Basically, if you use a news outlet as your source for research like this, you are just keeping racism alive.

#7 | Posted by humtake at 2019-11-22 11:51 AM | Reply

So, IOW, because you have a bias against their conclusion, you pretend to know what differences (if any), other than race, caused the results to differ. Do you have access to their data and methodology?

Also, what you fail to understand, is that researchers work to eliminate any differences that would cause one application to be accepted and another to be rejected. The same kind of studies have given similar results in regards to employment.

I'm really tired of white people thinking they get to define when something is "racist". Does the perpetrator get to decide whether a crime has been committed? Or does the victim get to make that determination?

#8 | Posted by WhoDaMan at 2019-11-22 04:33 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

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