Renters rights are civil rights

By Anne Bellows and Lorena Melgarejo

Why is the crisis in our rental market a civil rights issue? Because it deepens racial inequality in housing and recreates patterns of segregation. As the Assessment of Fair Housing reports, African-Americans and Latinos are overrepresented among renters, and they are disproportionately likely to be affected by evictions. Of the nearly 4,000 San Mateo County residents surveyed as part of the Assessment of Fair Housing, approximately 2 in 5 Latino and African-American renters reported experiencing displacement in the last five years. Filipino residents participating in a focus group conducted as part of the Assessment of Fair Housing reported similar experiences.

This disproportionate vulnerability of African-American and Latino residents to the loss of home today is the result of … READ MORE