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Rental Discrimination in Sydney

When potential renters inquire about a property do they all get equal treatment? What determines who gets the property over other potential renters? As we all know the Suburb you live in can have a direct impact on the jobs you find, the medical care you receive, the local shops and parks you visit, where your children go to school and how safe you feel in your home and walking around at night. Sydney’s tight rental market obviously places limitations on housing choices for those with less money, have you ever wondered whether other factors could be affecting this too? The colour of your skin maybe? NSW anti-discrimination laws make it unlawful for a landlord or agent to discriminate by providing an inferior service based on grounds like race. Are these laws abided by or is there measurable discrimination in the Sydney rental market?

Heather MacDonald is Professor of Planning and the head of the School of Built Environment at UTS. Her research focuses on equity in access to housing, estimating the economic and social impacts of public investments and affordable housing finance. Heather and her team recently conducted a study entitled Rental discrimination in the multi-ethnic metropolis: evidence from Sydney that explores the ideas surrounding discrimination and the treatment of minorities when it comes to the rental market and housing choices in Sydney. To learn more about the outcome of the study Heather joined Mitch on the line.

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