NFHA Accuses Arkansas Community of Discrimination Against Latinos

The National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA) recently filed a housing discrimination complaint with federal and state authorities accusing an Arkansas community of refusing to rent to Latinos and discriminating in the conditions or terms of rental based on national origin and/or race. The community is now part of a large company, which owns and operates 19,000 apartments throughout the southeastern United States.

For its investigation, NFHA used white and Latino individuals as testers to pose as prospective residents. In all cases, NFHA said, the Latino testers were somewhat better qualified to rent the units than their white counterparts: Allegedly, they had higher incomes, a longer job history, and other better qualifying characteristics.

According to the NFHA, its investigation found that community managers failed to provide Latino prospects with a rental application or did so only after a significant period of time following the request. By contrast, NFHA alleged, prospective white renters promptly received follow-up emails from the managers with a copy of the application and the other information needed to process their applications.

In one instance, the NFHA said that a white prospect and a Latino prospect both called on the same day asking about available units and information on applying. Allegedly, the white prospect received an application via email within eight minutes along with other detailed application requirements and information. By contrast, the NFHA claimed, the Latino renter had to wait 12 days for a response, which included only the application and no additional required information, effectively eliminating that unit as an option for someone who was planning to move in short order.

Source: National Fair Housing Alliance