Discrimination in private rental housing is rarely mentioned in discussions about housing policy. So it’s good to see AHURI taking up the subject to see what the story is. The researchers looked at age, gender, race and indegeneity. Disability gets a mention in terms of intersectionality.
The researchers took a holistic view of the private rental market. They found that discrimination occurs throughout the whole system. From buying property and investment, looking for a place to rent and finally, eviction.
Those who suffer discrimination don’t just find renting a place difficult, it adds to the many other stressors they experience. The growing number of informal tenancies such as share housing, increases the risk of discrimination.
The researchers recommend that policy responses should address structural discrimination such as health, energy, transport, ageing and immigration.
Addressing the power difference between renters and landlords and agents would make it easier to address discrimination. Currently, discrimination is difficult to prove, and there are no minimum standards for agents.
The critical policy areas relate to evictions, housing supply, social security, negative gearing, property standards and access to data sets.
The title of the report is, Understanding discrimination effects in private rental housing. This is a comprehensive report covering the whole spectrum of the private rental sector. There is much to digest.