Housing discrimination widespread in Vermont, new study finds

By: Leslie Black-Plumeau

HDLPA new report finds high rates of discrimination in Vermont's rental housing market based on race, color, national origin, disability, and minor children.

The report describes the results of 260 paired tests conducted in 2012 and 2013 by the Housing Discrimination Law Project of Vermont Legal Aid.

Testing results indicate that a substantial percentage of housing providers disfavored African American renters, renters of foreign origin, renters with children, and renters with disabilities.  In 44 percent of the tests, housing providers demonstrated either preferential treatment toward the control testers in comparison to the subject testers or the housing providers demonstrated unambiguous discrimination against the subject testers.

“Vermonters should be shocked that this level of discrimination persists in our state,” said Rachel Batterson, Director of Legal Aid’s Housing Discrimination Law Project. “Housing discrimination deprives all of us of the opportunity to live in diverse communities. We should be asking ourselves what we each can do to end discrimination in Vermont.”

Read the full report which describes the study's results and the process of fair housing testing.