Fair housing the key to a thriving community | Sponsored Content

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Jeremy Hayes, Eli Sanchez, and Peggy Bigio, L-R at Tenfold in Lancaster on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2023. Jeremy is the Director of Housing Rights and Resource Center. Eli is a Fair Housing Advocate, and Peggy is a Fair Housing Intake Specialist.

There are times when housing discrimination seems pretty obvious:

A prospective landlord tells you over the phone that they have an available apartment. But when you show up in person and your appearance doesn’t match how your voice sounded over the phone, that apartment suddenly isn’t available anymore.

And there are times when housing discrimination is far more subtle:

You unknowingly pay a higher security deposit than a tenant with a similar credit history simply because you have children.

Or the landlord avoids doing maintenance in your apartment because he doesn’t like the smell of the food you cook.

No matter the form it takes, housing discrimination

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Failing at fair housing | Guest Perspectives

Justin Alley

Justin Alley

In recent months, newspaper and television reports have repeatedly carried messages of guilty admission from the California Association of Realtors. In an effort to come clean about a dark and nefarious history, CAR has been apologizing for the Realtors’ role in promoting policies of discrimination and racial exclusion.

The full extent to which Realtors were the primary bad actors in this history is little known. To elevate awareness of this, Gene Slater, an urban planner who has served as senior advisor for federal, state and local agencies for more than 40 years, released a book in 2021 entitled “Freedom to Discriminate.” This impressive work of research meticulously documents the history of the real estate industry’s involvement in racial exclusion, laying bare the fact that Realtors were not only promoters of exclusionary policies but, in many instances, were the very architects of them.

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