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Columbia to Take Close Look at Housing Bias

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COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) - Officials in Columbia hope a study of housing discrimination in the city will show how often the problem occurs and how best to confront it.

The Columbia Daily Tribune reports the city will use $4,300 in federal funds for a study to be coordinated by Rigel Oliveri, associate professor of law at the University of Missouri.

Volunteers posing as prospective tenants or buyers will call or visit landlords and take note of their experiences. Oliveri hopes to enlist members of the general public as well as college students as volunteers.

Housing discrimination is generally defined as a refusal to sell, rent or show housing units to potential occupants. It’s illegal to discriminate based on race, color, religion, gender, mental or physical disabilities, national origin or family status.

© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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