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The key could be a name

Published Wed, 07/10/2020 - 10:06

Housing. Detecting evidence of discrimination in access to housing in Barcelona.

According to the work conducted by the Barcelona Discrimination Observatory, one of the sources of discrimination detected in the city of Barcelona concerns access to the rental housing market.

Faced with this evidence, Barcelona City Council’s Directorate for Citizen Rights Services carried out a study over the last few months aimed at making a thorough examination of the issue and objectively assessing the scale of such discrimination.

The study, which the Broll cooperative social consultancy was commissioned with conducting, involved sending over 1,000 applications in response to 500 housing adverts published in property portals, for the purposes of making a statistical assessment of the replies to these requests depending on the applicant. Half of the applications were therefore sent under an Arab name and the other half under an indigenous name, taken from a list of the commonest names according to Idescat.

The results of the study shed light on the existence of differences between applications sent under Arab and indigenous names: for every 10 applications sent, those with indigenous names received six replies and those with Arab names four.

Gender-based differences were also detected: for every 10 applications sent by women, those using indigenous names received seven replies and those using Arab names five, whereas in the case of men, applications sent under indigenous names obtained five replies and those under Arab names fewer than 3.

All that provides objective evidence of discrimination in access to the rental housing market in the city of Barcelona, a situation we need to condemn and fight against if we are to achieve genuine equality in a basic right such as the right to housing.

We invite you to look at the study’s full report from the following link, as well as the summary of the video report that was made on the study.

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