The Fair Housing Partnership of Greater Pittsburgh today released the findings of a testing project it conducted from 2009 to 2010 related to discrimination against deaf people for rental housing.
The testing audit, which was funded by FISA Foundation, consisted of 200 paired tests designed to see how differently landlords in the Pittsburgh area treated rental applicants who could and could not hear.
Testers who could not hear would contact landlords using Internet Relay telephone services, which require the deaf person to type questions to an operator who reads them to a landlord and then types the landlord's response back to the deaf person. A tester who could hear who would then call the same landlord and apply for the rental while reporting a slightly lower income and shorter work history and residency.
In the testing audit, 56 of the 200 tests (28 percent) provided either possible or clear and detailed evidence of discrimination against the deaf testers or the use of the relay system. Fifty (25 percent) of the testing results were inconclusive and 94 of the tests (47 percent) provided no evidence of discrimination.