Race Discrimination Complaint Filed Against Mississippi Real Estate Agents
Real estate agents in Mississippi were recently accused of race discrimination in a HUD complaint filed by the National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA). During a year-long investigation, NFHA said it conducted a series of tests in which similarly qualified white and black testers posed as home buyers and contacted the company to view homes in Jackson, Miss.
According to the complaint, the testing revealed that agents discriminated on the basis of race by steering the white home seekers away from interracial neighborhoods in Jackson, which is majority African American, and into nearby majority white areas. And conversely, the complaint alleged that the African-American testers who inquired about properties in the Jackson area were often never called back and were generally provided very limited information.
During one test, according to NFHA, both the white and black testers requested information about the same foreclosed property. Allegedly, the white tester was told that the house was under contract and was offered information about other properties; an agent showed the white tester multiple homes, mostly located in the predominantly white areas. In contrast, NFHA alleged that the African-American tester wasn’t able to speak with an agent after leaving several messages at the agency’s primary contact number and ultimately wasn’t given the opportunity to see homes in the area.