- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 22, 2015

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - A new study finds that Portland’s tight housing market is even tighter for black and Latino renters.

A study by the Portland Housing Bureau finds that almost half of fair housing tests found discriminatory practices like asking renters of color to provide additional documents or deposits, The Oregonian reports (https://bit.ly/1d07td9).

Annual fair housing audits were promised four years ago after the first report of its kind showed discrimination in 64 percent of test cases. Lawmakers haven’t kept up with that promise, and probably won’t be in the future either.

While the most recent results are troubling, audits will likely be conducted every two years instead annually, Commissioner Dan Saltzman, who oversees the housing bureau, said.

“If that’s a deviation from our plan, then I guess I’m announcing a deviation from our plan,” he said.

The Fair Housing Council of Oregon conducted the audit as part of a $70,000 contract. It is disappointing lawmakers don’t want to spend part of their multi-million-dollar budget on rooting out housing discrimination, said the nonprofit organization’s executive director, Pegge McGuire.

Most discrimination is not as overt as it was in decades past, the study found. Audits are conducted by sending undercover renters, one white and one of color, in to meet with landlords and then comparing their experiences.

In 51 fair housing tests, Portland landlords treated 19 minorities differently than their white counterparts. People with disabilities were also treated differently, though not to the same extent as black or Latino renters.

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Information from: The Oregonian, https://www.oregonlive.com

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