What is fair housing testing?

Fair housing testing is an objective means of determining how individuals are treated in the housing marketplace. Testing as an investigative tool was upheld by the Supreme Court in 1982 in Havens Realty Corp. v. Coleman. FHP conducts housing discrimination investigations with testing methodologies approved by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Additionally, the Department of Justice conducts fair housing testing including a 2013 investigation into racial discrimination in Baldwin, PA resulting in a consent order that included a $15,000.00 civil penalty (hyper link to United States v. S-2 Properties Inc https://www.justice.gov/crt/housing-cases-summary-page).

Testers are compensated volunteers who are trained by FHP to inquire into available housing or a housing-related service and who then writes an objective report on what occurred. Testers are matched in every aspect except the protected class being tested. Testers then make an objective report of what transpires on their visit. Testing allows us to measure and document differences in the quality, content, and quantity of information and services.

How does testing help?
FHP needs fair housing testers to assist with investigating housing discrimination complaints and uncovering illegal housing practices. FHP conducts testing investigations in western Pennsylvania.

“I really enjoyed the opportunity to be a tester for FHP. Getting involved gave me an important opportunity to learn about how our immediate community is affected by housing discrimination, and becoming a tester is a significant and accessible way to get involved. For those of us who question where to start in our own communities, this is a great way to get involved.”

-K., an FHP tester

Who can be a tester?
FHP seeks a diverse pool of individuals over the age of 18 who will be objective observers, accurate reporters, and truthful witnesses.

How do you become a tester?
Testers are required to complete a tester training course followed by a practice test. Testers receive a small stipend upon the completion of a test, including the practice test. The stipend amount depends on the type of test conducted. To pursue fair housing testing, contact Maria Driediger at FHP via maria@dev.prizumweb.com or complete the online form on this page.

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