Housing rental agents still massively cooperate with discrimination

Housing rental agents still contribute to discrimination in the housing market. New research shows that 73 percent of rental agents would not immediately refuse landlords’ requests not to rent a home to people with a non-Dutch background. Over a third of the intermediaries surveyed (37 percent) are actually prepared not to rent homes to Moroccans, Turks, or Poles. That is evident from the third national study into discrimination in residential rental, which outgoing Minister Hugo de Jonge (Public Housing) sent to parliament.

The number of rental agents who deliberately exclude people has increased slightly compared to the 2021/2022 period. At that time, 35 percent said they would accommodate landlords in keeping people out who have a non-Dutch background.

However, a decrease can be seen in the share of residential mediators who would consider not renting to people with a non-Dutch background. While the most recent monitor shows that this was the case for 73 percent of residential mediators, in the 2021/2022 period, 80 percent of mediators said they would consider the landlord’s request.

The 2022/2023 monitor also shows that people with a Moroccan-sounding male name and a Moroccan-sounding name (male and female name combined) are still invited for a viewing significantly less often than people with a Dutch-sounding name. However, there is a decrease compared to the (second) monitor carried out in 2021.

The most recent monitor shows that other profiles examined, such as a Moroccan-sounding female name, a homosexual couple, and a Dutch female name, did not have a lower chance of being invited for a viewing.

De Jonge called residential discrimination a “persistent” problem that can’t easily be solved. “Combating discrimination, therefore, deserves our continued attention,” the Minister said.

Rotterdam recently launched an experiment with anonymous applications for rental housing to fight this type of discrimination. Landlords get the applicable information, like income and family size, linked to a code instead of the applicant’s name before inviting them for a viewing. If the landlord cancels the viewing after receiving the applicant’s name, the municipality will investigate them for possible discrimination.

Reporting by ANP and NL Times

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