D.C. Abuse Victims Face Housing Discrimination
Friday, June 6, 2008 11:42 AM

The Equal Rights Center in Washington D.C. undertook a study of the treatment of domestic violence victims when seeking rental units in the city.  The test was performed one year after D.C. passed the Protection from Discriminatory Eviction for Victims of Domestic Violence Amendment Act of 2006, which was intended to protect domestic violence victims from discrimination when seeking housing.  Washington D.C. has one of the highest rates of homelessness in the country, and the link between domestic violence and homelessness is well documented.  Therefore, ensuring compliance with the 2006 Act is needed to protect domestic violence victims.


What the researchers discovered, however, indicated that 65 percent of rental companies were not complying with the law.  The organization performed the study with two callers, Tester A and Tester B, who had similar profiles of age and income, but one had a history of domestic violence while the other did not.  The researchers found that in 9% of the 93 cases, the woman with a history of domestic violence was denied housing, while in 56% they were offered worse terms.  It is clear that despite the Act of 2006, discrimination is still occurring against domestic violence victims in their search for housing, and that greater awareness and enforcement is needed in the city.


For the full report, click here.



Compiled from: "D.C. Abuse Victims Face Housing Discrimination," Family Violence Prevention Fund, 3 June 2008.