Study: Lake County landlords more likely to turn away disabled

CLEVELAND - A federally funded study found that more than a third of Lake County landlords sampled turned away people posing as disabled renters.

The findings by the nonprofit Fair Housing Resource Center Inc. will be sent to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, which paid $206,000 for the study.

The 18-month study, which began in 2004, concluded that landlords were three times more likely to discriminate against those with physical or mental disabilities than against minorities.

"The knee-jerk reaction when you say 'housing discrimination' is 'black and white,' but that's not all it is," said Patricia Kidd, executive director of the center, based in Painesville, about 28 miles northeast of Cleveland.

Nineteen of 50 landlords sampled, or 38 percent, would not rent to prospective tenants with disabilities, while six of 50 landlords, or 12 percent, would not rent to minorities, the study found.

The center launched the study after a previous one showed most newly built rental properties in the county were not wheelchair accessible.

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