Letters to the Editor

Owens letter: Housing discrimination

Will this real estate agent’s cute gimmick produce greater illegal housing discrimination?

Recently, reporters have mentioned that agents encourage buyers to include personal letters and photographs with their offers to sellers.

These unnecessary additions will almost certainly channel housing purchases toward white buyers, restricting neighborhood diversity.

I will illustrate with fictional characters.

Will Gokhale, with an engineering degree from an Indian university, stand on the same level as Johnson, with a similar BSU degree?

What about the Akinmade family, who have worked hard to build a successful Boise business after losing their earlier business and home in a terrible civil war?

Photographs will reveal skin color, facial features, and hair type. Photographs may also reveal physical disability or damage.

Will the wounded combat veteran with burns over 40 percent of her body, including her face, receive equal consideration with the pretty marketing account manager?

Studies of employment and school admissions show that, on balance, consideration of such materials will harm diversity.

Realtors’ associations should demand that their members stop this practice.

Sellers should throw away the letters and photographs unexamined.

Sellers, it’s a business deal. Insist that the realtor present first the offer that will yield you the most money.

Jack Owens, Boise

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