Long Island Divided: An Investigation by Newsday

After a 3-year investigation with over 90 real estate agents tested, over 200 hours of meetings recorded, and over 5700 house listings analyzed, the Newsday investigation uncovered widespread evidence of unequal treatment by real estate agents on long island: 19% of the time against Asians, 39% against Hispanics and 49% against Blacks.

 

In one of the most concentrated investigations of discrimination by real estate agents in the half century since enactment of America’s landmark fair housing law, Newsday found evidence of widespread separate and unequal treatment of minority potential homebuyers and minority communities on Long Island.

The three-year probe strongly indicates that house hunting in one of the nation’s most segregated suburbs poses substantial risks of discrimination, with black buyers chancing disadvantages almost half the time they enlist brokers.

Additionally, the investigation reveals that Long Island’s dominant residential brokering firms help solidify racial separations. They frequently directed white customers toward areas with the highest white representations and minority buyers to more integrated neighborhoods.

They also avoided business in communities with overwhelmingly minority populations.

The findings are the product of a paired-testing effort comparable on a local scale to once-a-decade testing performed by the federal government in measuring the extent of racial discrimination in housing nationwide.

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