Study shows NCR homeowners turn away Dalits and Muslims

In both the methodologies, the home-seekers had the same credentials but for their names that indicated their caste and religion.

Written by Seema Chishti | New Delhi | Updated: June 16, 2015 9:17 am
The methodologies included contacting the “home-providers” via telephone or meeting them face to face. The methodologies included contacting the “home-providers” via telephone or meeting them face to face.

A study on discrimination in urban housing rental preferences, to be published in a forthcoming issue of Economic and Political Weekly, shows high levels of exclusion of Dalits and Muslims in the five metropolitan areas of NCR.

The team of researchers, led by Prof S K Thorat, chairman of the Indian Council of Social Science Research, and comprising scholars such as Anuradha Banerjee, Vinod K Mishra and Firdaus Rizvi, covered attempts to get houses on rent in Delhi, Faridabad, Ghaziabad, Gurgaon and Noida between January and March 2012.

The methodologies included contacting the “home-providers” via telephone or meeting them face to face. In both the methodologies, the home-seekers had the same credentials but for their names that indicated their caste and religion.

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The telephonic audit had a total of 1,469 home-seekers, 493 each bearing upper-caste Hindu, Dalits and Muslim names. While not one of the 493 high-caste home-seekers received a negative response, about 18 per cent of Dalits and 31 per cent of Muslims faced outright rejection, found the study. Together those receiving either a negative response or a positive one with conditions attached worked out to 41 per cent in the case of Dalits, and around 66 per cent for Muslims.

tenantsThe face-to-face audit covered 198 home-seekers, with 66 high-caste Hindus, Dalits and Muslims each. While 97 per cent of upper-caste Hindus got a positive response, 44 per cent of Dalits and 61 per cent of Muslims faced rejection. Together those receiving either a negative response or a positive one with conditions attached worked out to 51 per cent in the case of Dalits, and 71 per cent for Muslims.

In other words, the chances of Dalits and Muslims finding a house fell in the case of face-to-face contact. It also means that a significant number of Dalits and Muslims have to spend much more to stay in accommodations in NCR than their upper-caste counterparts.

“This indicates a clear case of market failure,” says Thorat, “where even prosperity does not allow you to buy your way out of discrimination… The studies do reveal that Muslims are even worse off than Dalits as far as the rental housing market goes.”

“Non-monetary motive often prevails among landlords renting out houses,” says the study, which chose Delhi for the research as it is often considered amongst the most migrant-friendly and cosmopolitan cities in India.

“While about 18 per cent of Dalits faced outright refusal from upper-caste landlords due to their caste, 23 per cent of them did get houses on rent but with differential terms and condition such as high rents and other restrictions. In case of Muslims, about one-third of them faced outright refusal from the landlords due to their religion, another 35 per cent managed to get houses on rent but with differential terms and conditions.”

The study focused on identifying discrimination in the NCR areas from both the supply and demand ends. The demand side included Dalit and Muslim home-seekers facing unequal treatment; and the supply side included discrimination practised by the “house providers”, including landlords, real estate agents and brokers.

While the broad results were categorised as positive and negative, positive was further broken down into differential demands (in terms of rents and security).
Tenants rejected

After phone interaction:

Upper caste Hindus: 0%
Dalits: 18%
Muslims: 31%

After meeting:
Upper caste Hindus: 3%
Dalits: 44%
Muslims: 61%

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  1. A
    amrik
    Feb 28, 2016 at 1:08 pm
    Presutes at it again - were they rejected because of their caste or were the actualy rejected because they failed background checks and could not afford to live there anyway?
    Reply
  2. I
    Imran
    Feb 29, 2016 at 3:40 am
    No it is not true. Here it is a criminal offense to discriminate unlike in India. So please don't justify based on your manufacturing fact skills.
    Reply
    1. M
      M C
      Feb 29, 2016 at 1:00 pm
      Ref: A study on discrimination in urban housing rental preferences, to be published in a forthcoming issue of Economic and Political Weekly, shows high levels of exclusion of Dalits and Muslims in the five metropolitan areas of NCR. The team of researchers, led by Prof S K Thorat, chairman of the Indian Council of Social Science Research, and comprising scholars such as Anuradha Banerjee, Vinod K Mishra and Firdaus Rizvi, covered attempts to get houses on rent in Delhi, Faridabad, Ghaziabad, Gurgaon and Noida between January and March 2012. - ………………….. “This indicates a clear case of market failure,” says Thorat, “where even prosperity does not allow you to buy your way out of discrimination… The studies do reveal that Muslims are even worse off than Dalits as far as the rental housing market goes.” “Non-monetary motive often prevails among landlords renting out houses,” says the study. **** Prof. Thorat is the chairman of the Indian Council of Social Science Research and what he says must be seriously thought about and analysed. Serious thought leads me to respond as follows: i)—There is nothing surprising about--“Non-monetary motive often prevails among landlords renting out houses”. Why should such motives not prevail? What is wrong with the prevalence of such motives? It is true that If I am a landlord renting out a part of my house, I do so because I need money in the form of rent. But, besides rent, a tenant can also possibly give 24 hour comfort and security OR 24 hour headache and irritation and potential threat. The potential threat can be in the nature of criminal activities. It may even be in the nature of the tenant neither paying the rent, nor vacating the property. It may even be in the nature of perceived potential threat from the tenant to my teen aged daughter. If I am the owner of a house built with my own money and effort and savings over decades, I have a right to live in my house alone or with somebody whom I may choose as per my own perceptions and beliefs. I want to part with my property only if pros are more than cons. I have got a right to make my choice. ii)—There is no question of discrimination. Discrimination, within the confines of law, cannot be objectionable. There is no law that I should rent my house by a draw of lots from among those who want to rent my house. Discrimination in house letting can be objectionable only when I break some law. Let the state frame a law and I will abide by that. iii)—Prof. Thorat laments—“………where even prosperity does not allow you to buy your way out of discrimination”. He is a proponent of Mandal / OBC culture. I have a question to him—“If earning several lakh rupees by a Dalit cannot take him out of the discrimination in the form of reserved category, why should the offer of a high rent by a Dalit / Muslim be sufficient to take him out of the so called discrimination in the form of house-letting? iv)—SUMMARY—Nothing can be objected to do if it is not against law. [Don’t tell me non-discrimination on the basis of caste or religion is a fundamental right. That FR operates against the state and not a private citizen. If there is so much of concern about non-discrimination in house letting, maybe Prof. Thorat, with his highly respected position [he has been the chairman of the UGC, I believe], might feel like suggesting to the government that all government accommodation should be allotted after reserving 50% houses for SC/ST/OBC/Muslims etc. Nobody will mind it. Let charity begin at home. --M C Gupta, LLB, LLM, Advocate 29-2-2016
      Reply
      1. C
        Communal Rukstales
        Jun 16, 2015 at 12:33 pm
        Dalits/Adivasis(30%) are telling #Upper caste(20%) to take their #CasteShareOfLand from India and go build their own nation;
        Reply
      2. K
        Kiran
        Jun 16, 2015 at 4:15 pm
        Whts the big issue...???
        Reply
        1. M
          Manoj Kumar
          Jun 16, 2015 at 10:03 am
          Not Hypocrisy but the atude of the previous government to consider muslims and dalits as vote bank and give freebies to them so that they don't study and will remain at the level they are forever.
          Reply
          1. V
            Viki
            Jun 16, 2015 at 11:30 am
            Why is 2012 report being shown now ? Is it because of Modi?
            Reply
            1. B
              bhanu
              Jun 16, 2015 at 7:14 am
              Rather than portray this as caste / religion based discrimination, why not view it in the proper perspective of food habit differences / preferences, especially the strong sentiments against beef eating!
              Reply
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