Zillow released a report last August that has caught fire on the internet recently, as it states that Black and Latino renters are charged and pay more for application costs than their white counterparts. While the average rental application comes in at about $50, Zillow reports that Black renters pay on average $65 and Latino renters is about $80.

In addition to application fees, security deposits are also unfairly tied to race. The report states that 90% of renters paid a security deposit in 2021 with an average of around $700. Zillow’s report shows a higher share of renters of color (93%) paid a higher deposit than white renters (85%). The average amount paid by Black renters ($750) was also higher than white renters ($600).

As COVID-19 continues to wage war in the housing market, gains made by the pandemic’s economic recovery have been wiped out due to rising inflation. In addition to rising rental costs, homes are now harder to purchase due to significant demand and a shortage of new homes due to supply chain issues.

“Rents grew more last year than any year on record, forcing many renters to look for a more affordable option. According to ESSENCE, about 2 in 5 renters who moved in the past year said a rent hike influenced their decision to move,” Manny Garcia, population scientist at Zillow, said. 

“Renters typically do not have much of a financial cushion, and the cost of finding a new place to live can be an expensive burden. Regrettably, renters of color are especially likely to experience rising rents, and when they shop for a new rental, generally report higher upfront costs, restricting the mobility that is often held up as a benefit of renting.”

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