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Racial discrimination leads list of complaints to fair housing watchdog

By Matt Sepic, KWMU

St. Louis – Discrimination because of race still leads the list of complaints to the Equal Housing Opportunity Council in St. Louis.

The nonprofit group said Wednesday that 26 people reported allegations of racial discrimination last year when trying to rent or buy a home.

Executive Director Will Jordan says nationally, complaints based on disability outnumber all others. But he says in St. Louis, that's not the case.

"I think one of the reasons we see quite a bit in St. Louis is because St. Louis still remains hyper-segregated," Jordan said. "That means that no matter which way you cut the numbers, St. Louis is one of the most segregated cities in the nation."

Jordan says race-based complaints in St. Louis are down compared with previous years. But the cases represent a much larger problem because most people don't bother to file.

The biggest increase in fair housing complaints last year were those based on national origin.