RALEIGH, December 18, 2019 – Discrimination based on disability and race continued to account for the vast majority of housing discrimination complaints filed in North Carolina in 2018, according to a new report released by Legal Aid of North Carolina’s Fair Housing Project.
The report, State of Fair Housing in North Carolina (2019), found that in 2018, a total of 154 fair housing complaints were filed statewide with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Nearly two-thirds of these (100 complaints, making up 65% of those filed) were filed in just five counties: Mecklenburg (32), Guilford (26), Forsyth (18), Durham (14), and Wake (10). In 31 other counties, there were between 1 and 9 complaints filed, while the remaining 64 counties in North Carolina did not have any fair housing complaints filed in 2018.
The most common bases for complaints filed in 2018 were disability (92 complaints filed or 60%), race (44 or 29%), familial status (21 or 14%), sex (21 or 14%), retaliation (11 or 7%), national origin (10 or 7%), religion (5 or 3%), and color (4 or 3%).
Between 2000 and 2018, a total of 3,457 fair housing complaints were filed in North Carolina, or an average of 182 per year. The most common basis of discrimination alleged in complaints during this period was racial discrimination (1,441, or 42%), followed by disability (1,278, or 37%), national origin (632, or 18%), familial status (491, or 14%), and sex (427, or 12%).
Although race discrimination was the most common basis of discrimination alleged in complaints from 2009-2013, during the past five years, 2014-2018, complaints alleging disability discrimination outnumber complaints alleging race discrimination (disability complaints comprised 53% of complaints during 2014-2018, while 31% alleged race discrimination).
The five counties with the most complaints filed between 2000 and 2018 were Mecklenburg (603 complaints), Durham (505), Guilford (340), Wake (286), and Forsyth (218). Overall, an average of 36 complaints were filed per 100,000 people in North Carolina during the period 2000-2018. The five counties with the most complaints filed on a per capita basis were: Durham (187 complaints per 100,000 people), Orange (102), Buncombe (87), Guilford (70), and Mecklenburg (66).
In addition to examining fair housing complaint data, the report includes a summary of the protection and enforcement provisions of the fair housing laws and an examination of North Carolina’s population demographics, with a focus on characteristics that are protected by our fair housing laws. Click here to read the full report.
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Legal Aid of North Carolina is a statewide, nonprofit law firm that provides free legal services in civil matters to low-income people in order to ensure equal access to justice and to remove legal barriers to economic opportunity. Our Fair Housing Project works to eliminate housing discrimination and to ensure equal housing opportunity for all people through education, outreach, public policy initiatives, advocacy and enforcement. Since its founding in 2011, the Project has helped obtain over $6.6 million in relief for victims of discrimination. The Project is supported by grants from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Fair Housing Initiatives Program. Learn more at LegalAidNC.org and FairHousingNC.org.
North Carolinians seeking information about their rights under the federal Fair Housing Act or who believe they are a victim of housing discrimination can call the Project’s statewide toll-free helpline at 1-855-797-FAIR (3247).
The work that provided the basis for this publication was supported by funding under grant FEOI193031 with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The substance and findings of the work are dedicated to the public. The author and publisher are solely responsible for the accuracy of the statements and interpretations contained in this publication. Such interpretations do not necessarily reflect the views of the Federal Government.
Sean Driscoll, Director of Public Relations, Legal Aid of North Carolina,