The Impact of Ban the Box Policies on Housing Discrimination

Principal Investigators
University of St. Thomas
Funded on

Numerous cities in the United States have passed "ban the box" policies that restrict the use of background checks in the housing application process. However, previous research has found that ban the box policies for employment applications increase discrimination against young Black and Latino men. In this project, the research team will examine the impact of background checks in the housing application process, asking: 

  1. To what extent does housing discrimination against black refugees and African Americans exist?  

  1. How does limiting background checks for potential tenants affect racial discrimination in the rental housing market?  

Beginning in June 2020, Minneapolis forbid the use of background checks and credit history in rental housing applications. To examine the impact of this policy on housing discrimination the research team will also compare changes in discrimination in Minneapolis, where the policy will be implemented, to changes in discrimination in neighboring St. Paul and suburbs, where the new policy will not be implemented.  

This project aims to help develop policies that reduce barriers facing immigrants and people of color in their search for housing.