Nearly one-third—an estimated 32%—of Black Americans who recently moved believe they were discriminated against based on their ethnicity or race during their home search, while an additional 22% believe they may have been discriminated against.
This is according to a new survey from Redfin, which showed the share is even higher for Hispanic Americans, as 36% reported experiencing some form of discrimination. An additional 22% believe they may have possibly been discriminated against.
Asian respondents who recently moved were less likely than Black or Hispanic respondents to report discrimination, as 20% of them believe they were discriminated against based on their ethnicity or race. An additional 27% believe they may have faced discrimination.
A large portion of non-white homebuyers and renters feel housing discrimination despite laws against it. The federal Fair Housing Act is intended to protect homebuyers and renters from discrimination based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, and disability. It’s illegal to refuse to rent or sell a home, refuse to enter negotiations, or impose higher prices to a person based on one of those characteristics, among many other guidelines.
While discrimination isn’t uncommon in the housing and rental markets, a primary example of discrimination in the housing market is “steering,” which is when a broker guides a buyer or seller away from the neighborhood their client is interested in and toward a neighborhood where their client “might fit in better.”
Another example of discrimination is when sellers, agents, or landlords decide not to sell or rent to a person due to their race or ethnicity. For example, a landlord might agree to rent to a person of color over the phone, but deny them for a bogus reason like a negative reference after meeting the prospective renter in person.
About 1 in 5 LGBTQ+ homebuyers, renters faced discrimination during home search
More than one in five—approximately 22%—LGBTQ+ people who recently moved believe they were discriminated against based on their sexual orientation during their most recent home search. An additional 19% believe they may have been discriminated against.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2020 that under the Fair Housing Act, “sex” includes gender identity and sexual orientation. Discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation, like discrimination based on ethnicity or race, is often not blatant. Examples include a real estate agent refusing to show a home to a potential buyer because the buyer is transgender or a landlord opting not to rent to a same-sex couple—but not necessarily explicitly stating those are the reasons.
Discrimination drove roughly 1 in 10 Black, Hispanic and LGBTQ+ respondents away from their previous residence
An estimated 8% of Black respondents who moved in the last year did so because they faced discrimination in their previous neighborhood, and an additional 8% moved because they faced discrimination from their previous landlord.
The findings are similar for Hispanic and Asian respondents, while 11% of Hispanic people cited facing discrimination in their previous neighborhood as a reason for their move, and 8% cited discrimination from their previous landlord. Some 7% of Asian respondents moved because they faced discrimination in their previous neighborhood, and an additional 7% moved because they faced discrimination from their previous landlord.
Roughly 9% of LGBTQ+ survey respondents who moved in the last year did so because they faced discrimination in their previous neighborhood. An additional 8% moved because of discrimination from their previous landlord.
To view the full report, including more data, charts, and methodology, click here.