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Prejudicial market eyed in housing

| Tuesday, June 11, 2013, 8:09 p.m.

WASHINGTON — A major federal study has found that minority renters and homebuyers who test the housing market for discrimination were told about and shown fewer homes and apartments than their equally qualified white counterparts.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development released results of the study in which pairs of testers — one white, one minority — were deployed last year to do more than 8,000 tests across 28 metropolitan areas. Testers were the same gender and age and presented themselves as qualified to rent or buy a unit.

Minorities usually were able to get appointments and see at least one unit.

But study authors say the more subtle discrimination of telling them about and showing fewer units makes housing searches more costly and limits their options.

Blacks, Asians and Hispanics all were given fewer options when seeking a rental. Hispanics looking to purchase a home experienced about equal treatment as whites, but black and Asian homebuyers were discriminated against.

HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan said that that the discrimination affects minorities' ability to move to communities with good schools, better safety or more job options.

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