U.S. Department of Housing Study Shows Housing Discrimination Towards Asian Americans

According to new findings from a joint study by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and The Urban Institute, damaging instances of housing discrimination afflicting people of color and Asian American homebuyers are common, yet often go unnoticed or unreported by their recipients.
Like many forms of racial bias, favoritism tilted slightly towards white homebuyers or renters when being shown homes or rented units.

The results indicated that, on average, home seekers that are Asian American are told about and shown 15.5 percent and 18.8 percent less homes — respectively — than white home seekers. Asian American renters were also told about 10 percent less homes and are shown 6.6 percent less units overall. For every two in-person visits, Asians are told about one fewer unit and one fewer home than a white person, on average.

“Researchers also specifically noted that ‘minority home seekers whose ethnicity is more readily identifiable’ (according to name, physical appearance or accent, for example) are significantly more likely to be denied an appointment than minorities perceived to be white,” stated advocates at the National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development (National CAPACD).

The study, called “Housing Discrimination against Racial and Ethnic Minorities 2012,” consisted of more than 8,000 paired tests in 28 metropolitan areas throughout the U.S. Individuals were paired accordingly: one white person paired with one Asian, Black or Latino person. The pair was matched based on gender, age and family composition. Those tested posed as equally qualified home seekers inquiring about available homes and apartments. Each marked how many homes they were told about versus how many they were actually shown.

Researchers noted that many instances of racial bias seemed to go unnoticed by many of the home seekers.

“One anecdote shared by researchers included an Asian-American woman who was shown only one apartment and a white borrower of comparable qualifications, who was shown that same apartment as well as three additional units,” stated the report summary. “While victims of this type of discrimination are often unaware of the unequal treatment, it clearly increases the length and cost of a home search, constrains opportunities and limits choices.”

Asian Americans Still Rising:  New Census Results Reassert Asians as the Fastest-Growing Racial Group in the U.S. and Washington State

Photo credit: Getty Images/Scott Olson.
Photo credit: Getty Images/Scott Olson.

Earlier in June, the U.S. Census Bureau reported that 19 million Asian Americans now populate the U.S. That’s roughly 6 percent of the U.S. population.

Between 2011 and 2012, the Asian American population rose nearly 3 percent, or 530,000, according to new estimates, reasserting Asians as the fastest-growing population in the country. Nearly 60 percent of the growth between 2011 and 2012 can be attributed to international migration.

This news follows the embers of last year’s controversial Pew Center study, “The Rise of Asian Americans,” reporting that Asian American population growth had surpassed the U.S. Latino population at a record 18.2 million in 2011 after a notable influx of educated Asian American immigrants began getting green cards and working in the states.

Now, according to a National Public Radio (NPR) report on the Census results, South Dakota appears to be the state with the highest growth rate of Asian Americans, increasing 7 percent between 2011 and 2012, though only reflecting a population growth of 12,000.

Washington state has also seen a considerable increase. An 8.1 percent spike of Asian Americans between 2010 and 2012, as reported by The Seattle Times, ranks Washington fifth in percentage of Asian Americans, fourth in percentage of Pacific Islanders and Native Hawaiians, as well as fourth in percentage of people who identified as being two or more races.

The state is shifting alongside national growth of Asian Americans and people of color. Overall in the U.S., people of color now comprise 37 percent of the nation. Between 2011 and 2012, people of color grew by nearly 2 percent, and the rate is expected to keep growing.

In ode to a decline of the white U.S. population, The New York Times reported that deaths exceeded births of white Americans for the first time in at least a century, then went on to juxtapose the decline with the rapid growth of people of color. Overall in new estimates, the Census found that people of color in the U.S. grew by nearly 2 percent between 2011 and 2012, with people of color comprising about 37 percent of the nation’s population.

An NPR report stated that children of color under age 5 represent 49.9 percent of all children under 5 in the U.S. in 2012.

As Asian, Latino and Black babies now make up a majority of U.S. babies overall, the rising Asian-American population will play a heavier role in shaping the U.S. in its new “majority-minority” racial makeup.

According to the New York Times report, this is likely to happen within the next three decades.

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