Housing discrimination subtle

April 25, 2008
Merilyn Brown knows what it means to be the victim of housing discrimination.
     As a college student looking for an apartment in Chicago, she experienced discrimination first hand. Brown, who is black, waited more than two hours while whites were shown apartment units ahead of her. She was shown only the worst units and sued the landlord under the Fair Housing Act.
     Now, as an attorney advisor for the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Brown helps educate tenants and landlords about discrimination, a practice that has grown subtler over the years.
     “Discrimination in housing is no longer blatant,” she said. “They’re getting really, really, really, really sneaky. You never get used to discrimination.”
     More than 50 people attended a Fair Housing Workshop at Wilson Boys & Girls Club on Friday. April has been designated Fair Housing Month by HUD.