Even when housing discrimination is illegal, it can still be difficult to prove in cases of he-said, she said. But even when they are reported, there’s no way to prosecute people who commit housing discrimination unless law enforcement are willing to take a peek into the claim and see that it’s happening.
When a family in Michigan was denied a home, the Fair Housing Center of Metropolitan Detroit set up some test subjects to see if discrimination had occurred. Lo and behold, the white family was granted a showing while the black family didn’t even get a call back.
The 1968 Fair Housing Act was put into place to ensure incidents of racism like this do not happen—yet when they do, the feds are pretty much refusing to go undercover to prove it’s happening themselves, which would actually end with some kind of action taken against the people breaking the law—as well as prevention against it occurring again.
African American and Latino families are discriminated against in 1 in 5 of these tests—and housing laws remain one of the most violated civil rights protections in the country. What will it take to get local and federal law enforcement to take these instances of discrimination seriously?