Skip to main content

The Impact of Limiting Applicant Information on Rental Housing Discrimination

Institute Working Paper 61 | Published September 21, 2022

Download PDF

Authors

Marina Mileo Gorzig Visiting Scholar, Institute
Deborah Rho, PhD University of St. Thomas
The Impact of Limiting Applicant Information on Rental Housing Discrimination

Abstract

Policies that reduce information on applicants (e.g., limiting criminal history) have mixed results in the labor market. However, little is known about their impact in the housing market. We submitted fictitious email inquiries to publicly advertised rentals using names manipulated on perceived race and ethnicity before and after a policy that restricted the use of background checks, eviction history, income minimums, and credit history in rental housing applications in Minneapolis. After the policy was implemented, discrimination against African American and Somali American men increased. Triple difference analysis shows that discrimination increased in Minneapolis relative to St. Paul after the policy.