Rental Housing Discrimination on the Basis of Mental Disabilities: Results of Pilot Testing
More than 15 million people in the United States have some type of mental disability. Many of these individuals seek community-based housing in the rental market. As a result of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Olmstead decision, an increasing number of individuals with disabilities are moving from nursing homes and other institutional settings into community-based settings. Additionally, the overwhelming majority of housing discrimination complaints received in the U.S. involve discrimination based on a disability. This pilot study represents the first comprehensive examination of discrimination in the rental housing market against people with mental disabilities (MD). The study specifically focuses on persons with mental illness (MI) and those with intellectual or developmental disabilities (I/DD). The goal of the study was to increase the understanding of the prevalence and forms of housing discrimination against this population as they seek market-rate housing and to evaluate the utility of different approaches to paired testing when conducting research on housing discrimination on the basis of mental disability.
In addition to the pilot study, there are four supplemental short papers meant to complement and further illustrate the complex issues surrounding both housing discrimination against people with MD and the involvement of people with MD in testing for housing discrimination.