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By Committee on National Statistics, National Research Council

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Additional resources for Measuring Housing Discrimination in a National Study: Report of a Workshop (2002)

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A participant asked whether the 1989 HDS provided some evidence that housing agents advertise units they are willing to show to anyone, regardless of race. This behavior would result in a lower incidence of racial steering. Turner responded that because minority and mixed neighborhoods were underrepresented in the 1989 newspaper advertisement sample, minority auditors were generally shown housing units in white neighbor- 42 MEASURING HOUSING DISCRIMINATION IN A NATIONAL STUDY hoods. Researchers noted that in 1989 there was some steering to lowervalue neighborhoods, but not much steering to neighborhoods with a higher proportion of minorities, because the latter were underrepresented in the sample.

Additional discussion centered on the standard for housing market transactions, more specifically, the solutions for the joint probabilities in Table 5-2 in the absence of housing discrimination. Workshop participants suggested that the Urban Institute should consider the solutions for Pij and their implications for the net and gross measures of adverse treatment. These solutions for varying levels of housing discrimination would help the Urban Institute assess whether the gross and net measures are adequately capturing discrimination in the market.

In terms of white discrimination against Asian Americans, Zhou observed that Asian Americans who speak with an accent can be viewed as foreign and treated on the basis of stereotypes associated with foreigners. She used as an example the stereotype that immigrant Asians have the financial resources to purchase housing with cash or make a substantial down payment. In addition, there are negative stereotypes associated with working-class Asians and perceived differences in lifestyle. Thus, the stereotypes applied may be positive or negative and may result in differential behavior by the housing agent.

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