Most Housing Discrimination Complaints Related To Disabilities
People with disabilities appear to be disproportionately affected by housing discrimination, with a new report finding that disability issues accounted for over half of complaints last year.
Of the 28,181 complaints of housing discrimination documented in 2016, 55 percent were based on disability.
The figures come from a report released this week by the National Fair Housing Alliance, which analyzes government data and information collected by private, nonprofit fair housing groups.
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“Some advances have been made in opening up neighborhoods to everyone; however, people of color, persons with disabilities and other marginalized groups continue to be unlawfully shut out of many neighborhoods that provide quality schools and health care, fresh food, employment opportunities, quality and affordable credit, small business investment and other opportunities that affect life outcomes,” said Shanna Smith, president and CEO of the National Fair Housing Alliance.
Disability discrimination complaints were reported at more than double the rate of those based on race, familial status, sex or any other protected class.
This could be, at least in part, because disability discrimination is often “more overt or more easily detected than other types of housing discrimination,” the report found.
Many apartments — even newly constructed ones — do not meet accessibility requirements and landlords have been known to refuse reasonable accommodations or modifications, according to the findings.
In addition, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has allocated significant funding toward educating people with disabilities on their fair housing rights, which the report authors said could make this group more likely to file complaints when issues arise.