Research by Analysis Group Consultants Jee-Yeon Lehmann and Judson Woods on Boston Housing Discrimination Published by Georgetown Journal
February 8, 2021
An Analysis Group team including Vice President Jee-Yeon Lehmann and Senior Analyst Judson Woods provided pro bono support for a study by a team of researchers at The Housing Discrimination Testing Program (HDTP) at Suffolk University Law School. An academic paper based on the study, which found evidence of discrimination against Black renters and low-income renters who use Section 8 housing vouchers in the Greater Boston area, was published in the Georgetown Journal on Poverty Law and Policy. The study, which used a “matched-pair” testing methodology to gauge the differential treatment of similarly situated individuals, found evidence of race-based discrimination in 71% of tests and voucher-based discrimination in 86% of the tests.
Data from the study revealed the “alarming prevalence of race and source of income housing discrimination in communities” with laws prohibiting both race- and voucher-based discrimination. In view of their findings, the authors provide several policy recommendations, including increasing penalties for discrimination behavior by real estate professionals, expanding fair housing training for real estate brokers, making source of income a protected class under the federal Fair Housing Act, and streamlining the system for the use of housing vouchers.