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Testing, Reports, and Research


Based on decades civil rights testing experience, the ERC conducts cutting edge research into important civil rights issues.  Civil rights testing allows the ERC to quantitatively document the existence of and rates of discrimination, which the ERC details in the reports below and uses to affect real change.  

Learn more about the ERC’s Civil Rights Testing Program and why it distinguishes the ERC from other civil rights organizations.

If you are interested in requesting a hard copy of any ERC reports, please contact the Communications and Outreach office.

Senior ReportERC 10-State Testing Investigation Documents Discrimination against Older Same-Sex Couples

The Equal Rights Center has published the results of a 10-state testing-based investigation documenting adverse differential treatment against older same-sex couples seeking housing in senior living facilities.

 

 

Click here to download an accessible version of the report

 

NCLR report coverERC and NCLR Investigation Uncovers Housing Discrimination against Latinos in 3 Major Metropolitan Areas

The Equal Rights Center (ERC)and The National Council of La Raza (NCLR)—the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States—unveiled the results of a testing-based investigation documenting adverse and differential treatment against prospective Latino renters and homebuyers in Birmingham, Alabama; Atlanta, Georgia; and San Antonio, Texas.

The report, titled “Puertas Cerradas: Housing Barriers for Hispanics,” documents the results of 225 matched-pair tests conducted by the ERC in the three major U.S. metropolitan areas. In 95 of the 225 tests conducted (42 percent), the Latino tester experienced at least one form or adverse, differential treatment as compared to their counterpart white tester.

Click here to download an accessible version of the report. 

 

Precaución Obstacles in the Virginia Rental Housing Market fInvestigation Finds Adverse Treatment of Latinos in 55% of Rental Housing Inquiries

The Equal Rights Center and Drinker Biddler & Reath LLP have released a testing-based report revealing that Latinos seeking rental housing across the Commonwealth of Virginia experienced at least one form of adverse treatment as compared to their white counterparts in 55 percent of inquiries. The report, Precaución: Obstacles for Latinos in the Virginia Rental Housing Market, is based on a series of 106 tests.

Click here to download an accessible version of the report. 

 

Will You Take My Voucher? An Update on Source of Income Discrimination in the District of Columbia

Will You Take My Voucher_button

In April, the ERC relased it's latest source of income discrimination report, "Will You Take My Voucher? An Update on Source of Income Discrimination in the District of Columbia." For nearly a decade, the ERC has monitored landlords and rental management agents in the nation’s capital to determine their compliance with source of income protections, and has worked to end discrimination against voucher holders.

This report update, based on source of income testing conducted by the ERC between July 2011 and January 2013, confirms that the ERC’s education and outreach efforts continue to bear fruit, but that discrimination against voucher holders persists. In the most recent testing, voucher holders were subject to discrimination 28% of the time. While much improved, continued education and advocacy is needed to address the more than 1 out of 4 voucher holders who still experience some form of discrimination.

Click here to download an accessible Word version of the report.

'Misguided' coverERC Investigation Finds 31% Rate of Discrimination Against Guide Dog Users

A report released by the ERC found that individuals using guide dogs experience a 31 percent rate of discriminatory treatment while seeking rental housing in the greater Washington, D.C. area.

“Despite legal protections, thousands of individuals who use service animals encounter discrimination that acts as a barrier to their ability to secure safe and affordable housing, which has far reaching impact on their overall quality of life,” said Don Kahl, Executive Director of the Equal Rights Center. “Refusing to provide the legally required accommodation for a guide dog is simply unacceptable. By raising awareness about the issue, the ERC hopes to see the day when no individual with a disability is forced to choose between the use of their service animal and the ability to live in the home of their choice.”

Download an accessible Word document of the report here

Disconnected Report coverDisconnected: Housing Discrimination Against the Deaf and Hard of Hearing

A report released by the ERC found that 45% of Deaf or hard of hearing individuals who use telecommunications relay service experienced discriminatory treatment while seeking rental housing in the greater Washington, D.C. area. The scope of discrimination ranged from a hang up followed by a refusal to answer calls placed immediately thereafter, to misrepresentation of availability, quotes of higher rents, differing application requirements, and none of the follow up provided to other applicants.

Download accessible word version of report>>

Cover of Ill-preparedIll-Prepared; Health Care's Barriers for People with Disabilites

The ERC released a report documenting staggering levels of violations of federal accessibility requirements at hospitals, doctor’s offices, and pharmacies across the nation. The report, “Ill-Prepared: Health Care’s Barriers for People with Disabilities,” reveals that less than 25 percent of medical service providers were compliant with accessibility standards required under federal law.

Download accessible word version of report>>

 

 

Still in Search of Decent Housing Report coverStill in Search of Decent Housing; A Five Year Reflection on Discrimination Against Housing Choice Voucher Holders in the District of Columbia

The ERC released a report based on an expansive investigation, highlighting a 45% rate of discrimination against individuals attempting to use Housing Choice Vouchers (HCV) in the District of Columbia.  The report, "Still in Search of Decent Housing," was issued as a follow up to a 2005 ERC report that documented a staggering 61% rate of discrimination against voucher holders in the District.  

Download accessible word version of report>>

 

No Dogs Allowed: Discrimination by D.C. Taxicabs against  PeopleNo Dogs Allowed: Discrimination by D.C. Taxicabs against People (2010)

After receiving numerous complaints from ERC members and collaborative partners who use service dogs and had experienced refusals of service by D.C. taxi cabs, the ERC launched an investigation into taxi discrimination against individuals who use service dogs.  The investigation uncovered a 60% rate of discrimination against individuals who use service animals when attempting to hail a cab.

View video footage from the investigations>>

                                                Read an accessible version of the report>>

 

Fair Housing for AllFair Housing for All: The Disparate Response to Latino Housing in Frederick County, MD  (2010)

ERC’s 2009 housing discrimination investigations in Frederick County found that 79 percent Latinos seeking housing were subjected to discriminatory treatment—as evidenced by the imposition of different, more adverse terms and conditions on potential Latino tenants when compared to their white counterparts.

 

 

A Step Away From HomelessnessA Step Away From Homelessness: Housing Choice Voucher Holders Denied Housing in Montgomery County, MD (2008)

Montgomery County, the most populous jurisdiction in Maryland, has also quickly become one of the most unaffordable in terms of housing. An ERC investigation uncovered a 15 percent discrimination rate against Housing Choice (Section 8) Voucher holders in this county.

Download accessible word version of report>>

 

10 Harmful Misconceptions About Immigration10 Harmful Misconceptions About Immigration, (2008)

The debate over immigration is far too often plagued with rumors and exaggerations. This report includes clear, compelling facts that are not influenced by any political slant and focuses readers on widespread fallacies about immigration.

 

 

 

 

2 No Vacancy; Housing Discrimination Against Survivors of DomestNo Vacancy: Housing Discrimination Against Survivors of Domestic Violence in the District of Columbia (2008)

A year following the passage in Washington D.C. of the most progressive housing laws for domestic violence survivors in the United States, the ERC conducted an investigation.  The ERC uncovered a 65 percent discrimination rate against survivors in the rental of housing.

 

 

 

 

Failure to Communicate: Report on Language Barriers in DC Government Services (2007)

The ERC conducted an investigation evaluating the extent to which five D.C. government departments were in compliance with the D.C. Language Access Act.  The ERC found that all five departments failed to provide appropriate translation services.

 

In Search of Decent Housing in the DC Metropolitan Area: The Affordable Housing Crisis for Section 8 Housing Vouchers (2005)

Despite “source of income” being a protected class in Washington D.C., the ERC received numerous complaints of discrimination.  The ERC conducted an investigation and uncovered a 61 percent discrimination rate against into the extent Housing Choice (Section 8) Voucher holders.

 

Report on Latino Access to Health Care (2003)

The ERC investigated access that Spanish-speaking residents have to health care in Washington, D.C.  The investigation uncovered significant differences in overall treatment, such as 20% of the time the Spanish-speaking tester did not receive services in the appropriate language, and Spanish-speaking testers waited an average of one hour and 53 minutes longer before receiving services.

 

Service DeniedService Denied: Responding to Taxicab Discrimination in the District of Columbia (2003)

A 1993 and 1999 investigation by the ERC and one of its predecessor organizations found African-Americans were discriminated against 36 percent of the time when hailing a taxicab and that requests for pick-ups received service 14 times more often in white neighborhoods than in black neighborhoods.  This report discussing these investigations and details seven steps for remediation.

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