I’m graduating from Americorps on Friday, and after the Thanksgiving holiday I’m planning to move to New Orleans and get a job. I called a place that advertises rooms for rent on Craigslist, $100 a week. When I called, the fellow informed me that “we can’t put this on the ad”, but they don’t rent to women. Their renters are all males. I told him that some of the workers moving to New Orleans are women just like myself, and we need a place to live, too, but he remained firm.
That night, I was reading through a book our previous Americorps sponsor had given me, Get A Financial Life, and in one of the chapters there was a blurb about housing discrimination and that it’s illegal to refuse to rent to someone because of sex, race, age, etc. I called the phone number listed in the book and spoke to a Federal Housing person who said that yes, refusing to rent to me based solely on me being the wrong gender is discriminatory, and she’s mailing me a form so I can file a complaint. What annoys me is that there’s a place that will rent to me, but it’s $120 a week and further away from my potential job site than the place that refuses to rent to me. Damnit, $80 a month is a lot of money to me. All I want is to be able to rent a room just like anyone else. I’ve never filed any sort of discriminatory complaint before so I’m a little nervous.