Journalism in the Public Interest

Audit: Blacks, Latinos Still Likely to Face Housing Bias in Whitest Parts of Westchester

Three years after Westchester County entered into a landmark desegregation settlement with the federal government, tests show that minority home seekers still face discrimination in many areas.


(Doug Kerr, Flickr)

More than three years after Westchester County signed a landmark desegregation settlement, black and Latino home seekers still often face discrimination in the county’s whitest communities, results of a fair housing audit released this week show.

Between April 2011 and October 2012, Westchester Residential Opportunities Inc.  – a private fair housing group -- sent trained testers into communities targeted by the settlement to test for discrimination by real estate agents and landlords based on race or national origin. Testing is considered the best way to check for compliance with fair housing laws.

Under the audit designed by Westchester Residential Opportunities, first a black or Latino tester would inquire about an apartment or home. Then a white tester with slightly lower financial qualifications would ask about the same place. 

The audit found that black and Latino testers were discriminated against in 40 percent of the 90 tests conducted. They were treated the same as white testers in 48 percent; 12 percent of the tests were inconclusive.

Overall, the tests showed that black and Latino home seekers still face significant odds of being steered to heavily minority areas by real estate agents and denied the opportunity to view apartments.

The results seem to belie County Executive Rob Astorino’s insistence that racial discrimination is no longer a significant problem in Westchester. In an investigation published last November, ProPublica chronicled the county’s resistance to the mandate to integrate at the heart of the settlement it reached with the federal government in 2009.

The audit seems to bolster mapping by ProPublica that found that race – and not just income, as some county officials have contended – contributes to the county’s residential segregation patterns.

The audits covered towns such as Cortlandt, Yorktown, Scarsdale, Bronxville, North Castle and Dobbs Ferry. In Mount Pleasant, where Astorino lives, African Americans and Latinos were treated differently than white testers in six of 13 tests. In affluent Scarsdale, which has a long history of animosity toward affordable housing, black and Latinos faced unequal treatment in four cases and were treated the same as white testers in just one.

Read the entire study here.

Edmund Singleton

Feb. 13, 2013, 5:55 a.m.

There are parts of New York City that are lily-white and its not because people of color did not want or try to live there…

What kind of sick article is this?  Of course whites want to live in safe areas without the racism and crime that most blacks and hispanics bring in (comment based on police and prison numbers).  Blacks are racist, they do not like whites in their neighborhoods, same for hispanics and especially asians.  These mentally ill “fair housing groups” need to send their testers into non-white neighborhoods and discover reality.

Edmund, if you look back in the series, Nikole mentioned that this Westchester area was chosen because it’s packed with folks like Cuomos and Clintons who claim to be championing the equality they located away from.

Cal, I don’t think you’ve helped your case by painting humanity’s morality almost exclusively based on skin color.

You might not believe that these people exist, but there are blacks who are engineers (the inventor types, not just the guys who run the trains), professors, and other things that are, like, ninety percent unrelated to gang activity!  I know, shocking, right?

Their kids won’t be, though.  Because people like yourself defend segregation to protect the upper classes from the “darkies” or whatever, the upstanding minority citizens get exiled to the neighborhoods with crappy schools, neatly creating a new generation of frustrated kids who are unable to make ends meet and feel insecure without a posse backing them up.

See also:  Blow up a village where we think terrorists live, and all the kids in the village immediately get recruited for terrorism…

Wow Cal. I’m a black guy. Don’t you think that I also want to live in a safe neighborhood? (BTW, I do live in a safe, *integrated* neighborhood) Why do you think it is ok for whites to be racist because in your words “Blacks are racist..same for hispanics and especially asians”. Is that the best you can do? What if I was a racist and one day I disrespected you?

Why do you think it is ok to discriminate against me because of what other black people are doing?

The study showed that in certain cases, prospective residents were discriminated against in trying to locate to an area. Merely locate, not actually live there. Are you implying that whites would have the same difficulty in obtaining residences in non-white neighborhoods? I somehow doubt that, but if you were right that is not acceptable either. In that case the proper thing to do would be to fight against it, not to use it as an excuse for more racism.

Please Cal, enter the 21st century.

I don’t think I have ever read of a test done to see if minorities discriminate.  That’s discrimination in and of itself isn’t it?

I followed links to get here and had to research to learn this was in NY. The article should have stated NY for clarification since discrimination is not limited to Westchester, NY and neither is the Westchester name.

Every time tests like these are done we find discrimination. Short of finding a way to hire, buy and rent without seeing a person’s color or seeing a gender-specific/ethic-sounding name how can we change this? The ones who get the benefit must tear down the system that harms others. Unfortunately most people are not activists unless they are part of the ones being harmed.

Edmund Singleton

Feb. 26, 2013, 4:33 a.m.

‘T’, how nice not to use a name just a letter when writing stupid thoughts, don’t want to give a name, any name a bad reputation. The Americans I know want to live among all kinds of different kind of people that is the only way to know if the life one lives is worth living. What a boring world if everyone around one was of the same thought and color, there would be no way of knowing if ones chosen way of life is best or could be better…Variety is the spice of life…

to Edmund S:

Excuse me, but if you want to live with violent minorities, you go right ahead.


I bet if middle-class black people wanted to live with just blacks, you’d make a law defending it; but if whites want to live next to whites….ewwww, that’s ‘evil’, according to you.  Am I right?  OK, hypocrite, let’s put you in the middle of the most violent black ghetto in the US, and see how long you last. (Hint:  ALL black neighborhoods are violent).

Looks like the cowards who run this site took my original comment down after you read it.

Edmund Singleton

Feb. 26, 2013, 12:03 p.m.

‘T’, just one story to make a point see if you can get it? In 1971 about 3a a white woman coming from work got on a subway train, the car had only three blacks in it. The woman moved on to the next car that had a white man alone, she sat down. The white man tried to rape her, the three blacks were under cover cops, the rape was stopped…

Edmund Singleton

Feb. 26, 2013, 12:20 p.m.

‘T’, and what is the race of those who are doing all the mass shootings these days?

Edmund Singleton

Feb. 26, 2013, 12:29 p.m.

‘T’, I give up you win, rest in peace…

I just ask you to consider what I’m saying, instead of knee-jerk responses.

It is obvious you are only getting your news from the liberal-conquered mainstream media.

As a good citizen, check out ALL sources; our country is too precious to waste on the propaganda of the ‘elites’.

Remember, Obama signed us into martial law.  If you want more details, contact me.

Take care.

This article is part of an ongoing investigation:
Segregation Now

Segregation Now: Investigating America's Racial Divide

Investigating America’s racial divide in education, housing and beyond.

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