Housing Discrimination Testing Program (HDTP)
- through Suffolk University Law School
Help fight discrimination in housing! Paid positions are available.
The HDTP is launching in September 2012 and will work with members of the community and law students to fight discrimination in housing. The HDTP is seeking individuals who are willing to serve as housing discrimination testers. Testers are independent contractors who assume a role and, without intent to rent, pose as renters for the purpose of collecting evidence of housing practices. A fair housing test usually involves a pair of testers – as similar as possible in all ways, but for the actual or representation of membership in a protected class. Suffolk University Law School has partnered with the City of Boston to test for housing discrimination in four areas: LGBT, familial status, disability and receipt of public assistance and will provide complaint-based testing support for all protected classes under the Fair Housing Act.
Testers are required to follow proper procedures in order to remain objective and impartial. Testers are required to complete all test forms in a timely manner. Testing will be done in response to actual discrimination complaints; therefore, there is no guarantee as to how often a tester will have the opportunity to participate in tests. We anticipate that testers will be compensated upon completion of each test.
Testers may be called as witnesses if legal action is pursued. The HDTP is supported by a grant from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Per HUD regulations, a HDTP must perform a criminal background check prior to approving a tester’s participation in the program. Testers cannot have prior felony convictions or have been convicted of crimes of perjury or fraud. Tester’s personal information will be held in strict confidence, but some information may have to be released pursuant to legal process, such as if a charge is filed or litigation is pursued.
Experience with renting housing is helpful, but not required.
Testers must be at least 18 years of age.
The HDTP will be conducting tester training Wednesday, September 12th from 4:30 – 7:30 pm and Thursday, September 13th from 8:30 – 11:30am at Suffolk University Law School.
Please email Jamie Langowski at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (617) 573-8778 if you have any questions or to RSVP for a training session.