Black residents in Seattle are getting a raw deal from landlords--some deals so raw that fair-housing charges are expected, the city's Office for Civil Rights announced today.
Unfortunately no one is saying who these renters are--yet.
UPDATE: We spoke too soon. The OCR has now released the names of the alleged discriminatory landlords. See them after the jump.
Using undercover renters of different ethnicities, the OCR says it completed a widespread investigation into housing discrimination, which found that in 69 percent of the properties tested, black people were discriminated against in some fashion.
The discrimination included things like running background checks on potential black tenants, but not white ones; not informing black applicants about move-in specials; and requiring extra deposits from black applicants but not from white applicants.
The OCR also found that disabled people are regularly discriminated against by landlords as well--often not told about disability-friendly units or units that allow for service animals.
Overall, 54% of the tests showed evidence of illegal discrimination. In the tests for race-based discrimination, 69% showed patterns of inconsistencies that generally favored white testers. The inconsistencies included quoting a higher rent to African American testers, not telling African American testers about move-in specials, or using different screening criteria with African American testers, including credit or criminal background checks.
Many of the offending landlords will simply receive information and "training packets" from the city on how not to be discriminatory.
But in six cases, the city says it is actually filing charges against the property owners.
For now, however, we don't know who those six renters are, though once charges are filed that should change.
UPDATE: Elliott Bronstein, the OCR's spokesperson just sent over the names of not only the landlords being charged with discriminatory practices, but all those that were tested on the basis or race or disability.
Note: The six on the last page are the landlords who are being charged for discrimination.