History of Housing Discrimination

Sarasota Herald Tribune, April 22, 2012 | Go to article overview

History of Housing Discrimination


Latest report should spark efforts to correct a consistent problem

A new report's conclusion that illegal housing discrimination may be distressingly common in Sarasota County should spur local governments to take action.

County commissioners and representatives of municipal governments should send a strong signal that fair housing policies are a priority and that discrimination will not be condoned.

As the Herald-Tribune's Carrie Wells reported last week, testers checking local compliance with fair housing laws found numerous cases of discrimination against people with disabilities and racial minorities.

"A very high percentage of rental housing tests (almost 75%) conducted throughout the county in 2011 resulted in findings of discrimination on the basis of race or disability," the report states.

(Titled "Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice," the report is avaialable online, attached to the Sarasota City Commission agenda: http://tinyurl.com/ct6kvf9.)

Though disappointing, the test results are not surprising. Racial isolation and income disparity -- de facto rather than official segregation -- have long been problems in Sarasota County, as have a shortage of low-income housing and gaps in public transit that can make it difficult for the poor or disabled to access some areas. …

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