Brussels is hoping to tackle the matter with continuous screening for discrimination against tenants due to ethnicity, name, gender, or other factors, rather than limiting such tests to specific studies or allowing them only as part of an investigation into an official complaint.
“We are the first region to launch proactive tests to fight housing discrimination,” Secretary of State for Equal Opportunities and Housing Nawal Ben Hamou announced on Twitter.
“Too many Brussels residents are victims of discrimination when looking for accommodation,” Ben Hamou said in a press release.
“As a result, faced with unjustified refusals from landlords or real estate agents, victims of discrimination are forced to accept unsuitable or unsanitary housing for often excessive rents. These poor housing situations, in turn, lead to health problems, social isolation and academic or professional failure.”
The many pre-conditions that used to apply for anyone looking to conduct screenings for discrimination will be removed.
Green Party leader Arnaud Verstraete had already urged several times during this legislative session that the strict conditions be changed.
“Now that proactive practical tests are made possible, we are taking an important step towards a fair rental market,” Verstraete said.
Grande victoire pour #Bruxelles : nous sommes la première région à lancer des tests proactifs pour lutter contre les discriminations au logement ! 🤗 Je présenterai ces nouveaux outils demain en conférence de presse. Rendez-vous à 12h15 en LIVE 👉 https://t.co/LAEIFgm5cppic.twitter.com/Tn7dHL0jqf