Sustaining its strategy to counteract discrimination, particularly those practices negatively affecting migrants and racialised citizens, the city of Barcelona carried out a second sociological study aimed at detecting discriminatory practices in housing.
Entitled “A la carte discrimination” the study was based on the field assessment of the practice of real estate agencies operating in the city. Over 350 phone calls were made by the city on behalf of a fictitious property owner that expressly declares willing to exclude migrant customers from the selection process. The calls to real estate agents revealed a condescending behaviour towards discrimination.
In particular the study revealed:
- Acceptance of discrimination: in 62% of cases, the agent accepts the discriminatory claim, leaving the indicated profile out of the selection process.
- Enabling indirect discrimination: in 24% of cases the acceptance of discrimination is not direct but several practices are detected that also result in the indicated group being excluded from access to the home.
- No ethnic discrimination: in 10% of cases the agent refused to accept the discriminatory proposal.
- Eluding response: in 4% of cases the agent avoids responding to the request.
The aim of the study was to identify and quantify the extent of discrimination in accessing housing, as well as to learn how much these discriminatory practices are standardised by the economic sector studied. The goal of the whole action is to understand how cooperation with agents and real estate agencies can be built, with the view to eradicate discrimination.