On Tuesday, October 18, 2016, the Equal Rights Center released, “Unlocking Discrimination: A DC Area Testing Investigation About Racial Discrimination and Criminal Records Screening Policies in Housing.” The report shares data that reveals criminal records screening policies used as proxies for race discrimination.
The investigation that formed the basis of the report utilized a civil rights testing methodology, commonly referred to as mystery shopping. Over the course of several months, the ERC instructed African American and white female testers posing as having similar criminal records to interact with local housing providers and express interest in renting an apartment. The testers reported back about their experiences and the ERC compared whether testers were treated differently on the basis of race. Testing occurred at apartment complexes throughout Washington, DC and Northern Virginia.
The report, along with more information about the investigation, findings and recommendations will be discussed during a webinar led by ERC’s Director of Fair Housing, Kate Scott, on Wednesday, October 19.
To view the full report, click here.