HUD: Renters With Disabilities Still Face High Rates Of
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
July 25, 2005
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS--People with disabilities often face discrimination when they try to rent apartments.
That's the conclusion of a study released Monday which was commissioned by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
The Urban Institute conducted the study, choosing the city of Chicago because of the willingness of its disability community to help in the research.
Researchers sent testers who used wheelchairs or who were deaf and used a TTY (text-telephone) to check out 100 apartments in the city that were listed as available for rent. The researchers later sent testers without disabilities to the check on same apartments.
According to the report, entitled "Discrimination Against Persons With Disabilities - Barriers at Every Step", wheelchair users experienced discrimination about one-third of the time. One was even told, "No wheelchairs here. You can't come in!"
The deaf apartment seekers were discriminated against about one-half of the time, the report stated. Those testers were often refused service altogether or were given less information than hearing testers.
"We've made strides in so many areas, like discrimination against blacks, Hispanics," said HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson, who commented that he was surprised at the results.
"I believe basically we had made the same kind of strides toward people with disabilities."
The study also found that about one-third of the rental properties listed were not accessible to wheelchairs.
Federal law prohibits discrimination in housing against people with disabilities.
"Housing study shows disabled often encounter bias" (Daily Herald)
Study: "Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities" (U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development)