2014 Fair Housing Testing
"Unfortunately, housing discrimination is not a thing of the past, but a reality for too many people in Seattle. These test results tell us that we still have work to do to share information with landlords on their responsibilities and with tenants, so they understand their rights."
— Seattle Mayor Ed Murray
The Seattle Office for Civil Rights (SOCR) has filed director's charges of illegal discrimination against 13 property owners after on-site fair housing testing showed evidence of housing discrimination.
Twelve of the property owners have agreed to settle the charges, which the City of Seattle filed with the WA State Human Rights Commission. Property managers have agreed to reimburse Seattle for the costs of testing, require their employees to attend fair housing training, provide funding for a fair housing campaign, and post fair housing notices in their properties to inform residents of their rights.
In addition to resulting in 13 charges, the testing conducted revealed that prospective renters experienced different treatment from Seattle landlords over half the time a cross all four tested categories: race, national origin, sexual orientation and gender identity.
To address housing discrimination citywide, SOCR will launch a Fair Housing Campaign to reach out to landlords and renters, including print and radio ads, workshops for both landlords and the public, and a Fair Housing Hotline. The Hotline will provide rapid responses by phone or email to landlords’ questions about housing discrimination laws. SOCR also will provide free training to property management staff on request, and schedule fair housing workshops for community organizations and the general public.
Questions or want to report a violation?
RHA has agreed to partner with SOCR to promote fair housing with its members and throughout Seattle.
For information about free classes and other educational materials sponsored by RHA, visit www.rhawa.org or call 206-283-0816.