Paula C. Barata, Department of Psychology, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, and Women's Health Program, University Health Network, Toronto, Ontario; Donna E. Stewart, Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto and Women's Health Program, University Health Network, Toronto, Ontario.
SEARCHING FOR HOUSING AS A BATTERED WOMAN: DOES DISCRIMINATION AFFECT REPORTED AVAILABILITY OF A RENTAL UNIT?
Article first published online: 8 FEB 2010
© 2010 Division 35, American Psychological Association
Psychology of Women Quarterly
Volume 34, Issue 1, pages 43–55, March 2010
How to Cite
Barata, P. C. and Stewart, D. E. (2010), SEARCHING FOR HOUSING AS A BATTERED WOMAN: DOES DISCRIMINATION AFFECT REPORTED AVAILABILITY OF A RENTAL UNIT?. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 34: 43–55. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-6402.2009.01540.x
This project was partially funded by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) under the terms of the External Research Program. The views expressed are the personal views of the authors and do not represent the official views of CMHC. This project was also partially funded through a postdoctoral fellowship to the first author from the Women's Health Program at the University Health Network. We thank Laurie DeOliveira, the research assistant on this project, for collecting the data and Dr. Ian Newby-Clark for statistical advice.
- Issue published online: 8 FEB 2010
- Article first published online: 8 FEB 2010
- Initial submission: November 17, 2008Initial acceptance: October 6, 2009Final acceptance: October 14, 2009
Individual battered women have reported experiencing housing discrimination, but the extent of this problem has not been examined. This research used two experiments and a survey to determine if landlord discrimination could keep women from accessing rental units. In Study 1, a confederate asked 181 landlords about the availability of a rental unit in one of three living conditions (shelter, friends, no mention of current living conditions) and across two scenarios (does or does not have a child). Rental units were almost 10 times more likely to be available in the control condition compared to the shelter condition, χ2(1, N = 181) = 8.624, p = .003, and these results were not affected by whether or not the caller had a child, χ2(1, N = 181) = 0.214, p = .644. In Study 2, the confederate was employed and left a message on 92 landlords’ answering machines in the same three living conditions. The hypothesized comparison between the shelter and the other two conditions combined was significant, χ2(1, N = 92) = 4.602, p = .032. Finally, in a telephone survey of 31 landlords, a substantial minority (23%) said they would not rent to a hypothetical battered woman. The results of our studies suggest that discrimination against battered women by landlords is a real problem that is likely contributing to the difficulties that women experience in finding safe and affordable long-term housing.