Discrimination in Metropolitan Housing Markets:
National Results from Phase 1 of the Housing Discrimination
The Housing Discrimination Study 2000 (HDS 2000) represents
the most ambitious effort to date to measure the extent of
housing discrimination in the United States against persons
because of their race or color. It is the third nationwide
effort sponsored by HUD to measure the amount of discrimination
faced by minority home seekers. The previous studies were
conducted in 1977 and 1989.
This report provides national estimates of discrimination
faced by African Americans and Hispanics in 2000 as they searched
for housing in the sales and rental markets. It also provides
an accurate measure of how housing discrimination has changed
The results in this report are based on 4,600 paired tests
in 23 metropolitan areas nationwide. The report shows large
decreases between 1989 and 2000 in the level of discrimination
experienced by Hispanics and African Americans seeking to
a buy a home. There has also been a modest decrease in discrimination
toward African Americans seeking to rent a unit. This downward
trend, however, has not been seen for Hispanic renters. Hispanic
renters now are more likely to experience discrimination in
their housing search than do African American renters.
While generally down since 1989, housing discrimination still
exists at unacceptable levels. The greatest share of discrimination
for Hispanic and African American home seekers can still be
attributed to being told units are unavailable when they are
available to non-Hispanic whites and being shown and told
about less units than a comparable non-minority. Although
discrimination is down on most measures for African American
and Hispanic homebuyers, there are worrisome upward trends
of discrimination in the areas of geographic steering for
African Americans and, relative to non-Hispanic whites, the
amount of help agents provide to Hispanics with obtaining
financing. On the rental side, Hispanics are more likely in
2000 than in 1989 to be quoted a higher rent than their white
counterpart for the same unit.
For convenience, the report is available for download in
PDF format. Your options for downloading are as follows:
Summary Only (.pdf 128KB)
The Executive Summary provides a general overview of the
major findings and the methods used to develop the estimates.
Quick Link to MSA Summaries.
This page provides quick summaries by MSA of year 2000 estimates
of consistent adverse treatment and the primary types of
that adverse treatment. Click on your individual MSA to
see the summary results. If you want to see how patterns
of adverse treatment for your MSA compares to the national
level or other MSAs, click on the BW rental (adverse treatment
toward African Americans seeking to rent a unit), BW sales
(adverse treatment toward African American homebuyers),
HW rental (adverse treatment toward Hispanics seeking to
rent a unit), or HW sales (adverse treatment toward Hispanic
Note that for the most part, the metro-level results show
much fewer items as showing statistically significant discrimination
than the national estimate. It is not because discrimination
is necessarily different or less in the metropolitan areas
than nationally, it simply reflects that the number of tests
conducted in each metro area was small (relative to the
total national sample), the lower-bound (net) estimates
of discrimination are often not statistically significant.
Generally, we conducted about 70 tests per tenure and per
ethnic group in each metro area, a very challenging volume
of testing for local organizations conducting the tests.
However, at this sample size we would need to see net measures
of about 10 percent or higher to be sure they were statistically
significant. In general, because of the wide confidence
intervals, we report the overall incidence of consistent
white-favored treatment was comparable across most metro
areas. The national estimates have much larger sample sizes
(between 700 and 1200 tests for each tenure and ethnic group),
allowing us to measure discrimination with much greater
precision than we do at the metropolitan level.
- The Full
Phase 1 Report without Annexes (.pdf 2.79MB)
This is the full report, including the Executive Summary.
- Chapter 1 provides a description of the paired testing
methodology generally along with an overview of the scope
of the study.
- Chapter 2 presents the methodology implemented in Phase
I of HDS2000, including the sample of metropolitan areas
in which tests were conducted, the procedures used to
draw a sample of available housing units in each of these
metropolitan areas, the paired testing protocols implemented
for both rental and sales housing, and the statistical
procedures used to estimate the incidence of adverse treatment.
- Chapter 3 presents current national estimates of adverse
treatment against African American and Hispanic renters
and homebuyers, as well as estimates of change in differential
treatment since 1989.
- Chapter 4 presents metropolitan-level estimates of
adverse treatment against African Americans and Hispanics
compared to the national level for each of the twenty
large metropolitan areas in our sample, highlighting metropolitan
areas with significantly higher or lower rates of adverse
treatment. Chapter 4 also presents results from exploratory
testing for adverse treatment against Asians and Native
- Chapter 5 uses multivariate analysis methods to test
hypotheses about potential sources of random and systematic
differences in treatment, and addresses some of the major
methodological criticisms that have been leveled at paired
- Chapter 6 presents expanded measures of geographic
steering in the sales market.
- Chapter 7 explores systematic variations in the incidence
of adverse treatment, and assesses the extent to which
they support hypotheses about the causes of discrimination.
- Chapter 8 reviews all the findings from Phase I of
HDS2000 and discusses their implications, both for future
paired testing research and for ongoing enforcement efforts.
Phase 1 Annex 1
Annex 1 of the HDS 2000 report includes the Test Assignment
Guides, Forms and Instructions used by the organizations
that conducted the paired tests for HDS 2000.
Phase 1 Annex 2
Annex 2 of the HDS 2000 report includes the Test Report
Forms used for the Rental and Sales paired tests. After
meeting with an agent, each tester independently completed
these forms to record the treatment that they received.
The data from these forms were then used by the analysts
to construct the treatment variables.
Phase 1 Annexes
3 to 7 (.pdf 907KB)
- Annex 3: This annex describes the tests for statistical
significance used in the report.
- Annex 4: This annex describes the methodology for and
presents preliminary results from triad tests that were
conducted in two metropolitan areas in Phase II of HDS2000.
Triad tests involve visits by three testers to inquire
about each randomly selected advertisement. Two of the
visits in each test involve testers of the same race.
A comparison of the experiences of the two same-race testers
provides a direct measure of random differences in treatment
during the testing process.
- Annex 5: This annex describes how and why the treatment
measures reported in 2000 from the 1989 HDS paired test
data are different from the treatment measures reported
as part of the 1989 study.
- Annex 6: For comparability, Phase I of HDS2000 implemented
the same weekly ad-sampling methodology that was used
in 1989. However, the 1989 HDS found that some geographic
areas within many metropolitan housing markets were under-represented
in the major metropolitan newspaper. In order to learn
more about this issue, two additional samples of available
housing units were selected for a subset of sites in HDS2000.
First, additional advertisements for units in under-represented
communities were drawn from the major metro newspaper.
And second, additional units available for sale or rent
were identified from other sources for the most under-represented
communities. In this annex, we stratify tests based on
whether the advertised unit was located in a well-represented
community or an under-represented community to determine
whether patterns of treatment vary.
- Annex 7: This annex includes tables which show how
each individual treatment variable contributes to the
two overall composite indexes, the consistency composite
and the hierarchical composite, for both 1989 and 2000.
Phase 1 Annex 8
Annex 8 includes estimates on every treatment variable
for each Metropolitan area that was included as part of
the 2000 sample. Statistical significance of the net measure
is also shown.
Phase 1 Annexes
9 to 11 (.pdf 1.09MB)
- Annex 9 provides the methodology for the multinomial
logit estimations and simulations that were reported in
Chapter 5 of the main report.
- Annex 10 provides the methodology for the fixed effect
logit estimation reported in Chapter 7 of the main report.
- Annex 11 provides the detailed results from the fixed
effect logit estimation reported in Chapter 7 of the main