Fair Housing Survey Results and Description

 
The Lafayette Consolidated Government Community Development Department released a Fair Housing Survey to the public to gauge the public’s knowledge of fair housing laws and their experience with fair housing issues.  The Department released a preliminary survey in person during the LCG Development and Planning Department’s community event titled ‘Evangeline Corridor Initiative Open House” on June 8, 2017 at the Rosa Parks Transportation Center, during which seventeen (17) responses were received.  A second, more developed survey was released to the public via the internet through SurveyMonkey.com on June 20, 2017, and on paper at Community Development’s Neighborhood Counselling Services Division on July 12, 2017.  The survey period ended August 7, 2017 at both locations, and 285 completed survey results were received.

The Lafayette Consolidated Government Community Development Department (LCG-CD) released a Fair Housing Survey to the public to gauge the public’s knowledge of fair housing laws and their experience with fair housing issues.  LCG-CD released a preliminary survey in person during the LCG Development and Planning Department’s (LCG-DP) community event titled ‘Evangeline Corridor Initiative Open House” on June 8, 2017 at the Rosa Parks Transportation Center, during which seventeen (17) responses were received.  A second, more developed survey was released to the public via the internet through SurveyMonkey.com on June 20, 2017, and on paper at LCG-CD’s Neighborhood Counselling Services Division on July 12, 2017.  The survey period ended August 7, 2017 at both locations, and 285 completed survey results were received.  

Preliminary Survey Released on June 8, 2017

Regarding the preliminary paper survey results, 17 respondents participated.  41% of respondents identified themselves as White and 59% of respondents identified themselves as Black. Further, 76% of respondents identified themselves as Female and 18% identified themselves as Male.

When asked if they were aware of outreach and educational opportunities regarding fair housing in Lafayette Parish, 35% of respondents stated that they were aware, while 59% of respondents stated that they were not.

While 41% of respondents stated that they believed housing discrimination is a problem in Lafayette Parish, only 6% of respondents believed they had encountered it themselves.

When provided with a number of options to choose from, a number of respondents indicated that the following applied to themselves or someone they knew:
       -  10 respondents stated that there was a lack of affordable housing to purchase or rent.
       -  6 respondents stated that there was affordable housing concentrated in certain areas.
       -  3 respondents stated that the housing that they can afford is too far from work.
       -  3 respondents stated that a housing provider or real estate agent refused to rent or deal with them.

Online Survey Released on June 20, 2017


Who took this survey?

     ·      The majority of participants reside in the 70501 zip code.

     ·      Of 57 total participants, 23 are male, 32 are female, 30 are in the 18-45 age group, 20 are 46-64, and 7 are age 65 or older.

     ·      The races/ethnicities represented are 71% White, 26% Black, 2% Hispanic, and 2% Native American.

     ·      More than half of respondents have a household size of 1-2 persons.

     ·      Nearly half of respondents have an annual household income of $60,000 or more.

     ·      Twenty-six percent (26%) of respondents were Black, while Lafayette Parish’s population is also 26% Black.

What did they say?
     ·      Most are not aware of outreach and educational opportunities regarding fair housing in the parish.

     ·      The responses are split regarding the belief that housing discrimination is a problem, with a third being unsure.

     ·      Nearly half of respondents are unsure about whether state or local government has enacted policies, regulations, or other actions                  that limit fair housing choice.

     ·      Nearly three-quarters of respondents feel that their mortgage or rent is affordable, but more than a quarter indicate that their                          mortgage or rent payment is more than 30% of their gross monthly income.

     ·      Eighty five percent (85%) of respondents feel welcome in their neighborhoods; 15% do not feel welcome.

     ·      The respondents are split regarding how well-informed they feel about housing discrimination laws, but most feel as though they’re                not informed at all.

     ·      Nineteen percent (19%) of respondents have encountered housing discrimination in the parish, 74% have not, and 7% are unsure.

     ·      Most respondents would open an inquiry with a government agency if they believed to be a target of housing discrimination, but a                  quarter would not know what to do.

     ·      If and when becoming a victim of fair housing violations, the individuals/organizations most likely to be contacted are—in order of                  preference—HUD, Legal Services, the Housing Authority, and the Office of Community Development. With that said, a third of                          respondents are unsure of whom to contact.

     ·      In Lafayette Parish, most respondents indicate that their experience is—in order of frequency of response—affordable housing                        concentrated in certain areas, a lack of affordable housing to purchase or rent, and the housing one can afford is too far from                            decent schools.

 

In reviewing the survey data, there were notable disparities in Black responses versus the overall community’s responses. Several observations regarding these responses appear below. 

While 22% of total respondents are renters, 34% of Black respondents rent their homes.  Conversely, 74% of total respondents are homeowners, but only 58% of Black respondents own their homes.

Further, while 42% of total respondents have an annual household income of $60,000+, only 28% of Black respondents earn this amount in annual income.

In asking whether a respondent’s mortgage or rent payment was more than 30% of their gross income, 25% of total responses were “Yes,” while 37% of Black responses were “Yes."

When asked, “Do you believe that housing discrimination is a problem in Lafayette Parish?” 32% of total respondents said “Yes,” while 54% of Black respondents said “Yes.” Conversely, 28% of total respondents said “No,” while only 10% of Black respondents said “No.”

When further asked, “Have you encountered housing discrimination in Lafayette Parish?” the   total “Yes” responses totaled 12%, while Black responses totaled 30%.

 In order to narrow the understanding of discrimination bases, respondents were asked, “If you have been discriminated against for fair housing, what was the basis of discrimination?” The responses with the most disparity include that of race/ethnicity, age, and gender.

     - Total responses reporting “Race/Ethnicity” discrimination: 58%

     - Black responses reporting “Race/Ethnicity” discrimination: 84%


     - Total responses reporting “Age” discrimination: 30%

     - Black responses reporting “Age” discrimination: 21%


     - Total responses reporting “Gender” discrimination: 18%

     - Black responses reporting “Gender” discrimination: 5%


Of the Black responses above, it appears that respondents feel that their race, rather than age or gender, is the primary source of discrimination against them concerning fair housing.

The below descriptions provide more specific examples of ways in which respondents felt that they were discriminated against.

When asked if particular instances were applicable to them, respondents answered as follows:

     - Of total respondents, 7% experienced a situation where a housing provider or real estate agent refused to rent or deal with them.                   Alternatively, 16% of Black respondents experienced this.

     - Of total respondents, 5% experienced a situation where a housing provider or real estate agent denied that housing was available.                   Alternatively, 11% of Black respondents experienced this.

      - Of total respondents, 10% experienced a situation where a housing provider or real estate agent never returned their phone call after            requesting a call back. Alternatively, 13% of Black respondents experienced this.

     - Of total respondents, 7% experienced a situation where a mortgage lender refused to sell them a mortgage. Alternatively, 11% of Black         respondents experienced this.

     - Of total respondents, 5% experienced a situation where a mortgage lender refused to give them information about mortgages.                         Alternatively, 5% of Black respondents experienced this.

     - Of total respondents, 18% experienced a situation where housing they can afford is too far from work. Alternatively, 29% of Black                     respondents experienced this.

     - Of total respondents, 26% experienced a situation where housing they cannot afford is too far from decent schools. Alternatively, 37%           of Black respondents experienced this.


When read in concert with other survey data, the above situations most likely stem from racial discrimination.

Further, it could be said that as Black respondents are unable to live close to their jobs or have their children attend decent schools because of their housing situations, this could limit them to living in certain areas, increase commute distances, and result in lower quality educations for their children.

 There were further disparities when asked whether state or local government had enacted policies, regulations, or other actions that limit fair housing choice. Total “Yes” responses to this question were 20%, while Black “Yes” responses were 37%. Conversely, total “No” responses were 32%, while Black “No” responses were 22%.

 Additionally, when asked who an individual or organization would contact if they were or knew someone who was a victim of fair housing, the response of “HUD” was 42% for total respondents and 55% for Black respondents.