Danish housing market rife with discrimination

The Local Denmark
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Danish housing market rife with discrimination
Easier access for Jens and Mette than Mustafa and Amirah. Photo: Colourbox

It’s a lot easier to find housing in Denmark if your name is Jens Jensen instead of Hazim Aswad.


According to a study from The National Social Appeals Board (Ankestyrelsen), residents with non-Danish sounding names need to make 27 percent more inquiries to find housing than those with traditional Danish names. 
Integration Minister Manu Sareen told Metroxpress that the results were “completely unacceptable”.
“I think it is very, very sad. Particularly because there have been people living in Denmark with different names for many, many years,” Sareen said. 
The Appeals Board’s study, entitled ‘The extent of discrimination of non-ethnic Danes’, concluded that residents with names that sound Middle Eastern or ‘exotic’ need to inquire into 27 percent more housing options in order to receive the same number of positive responses as residents with traditional Danish names. 
Sareen said that the results point to clear discrimination on behalf of landlords and estate agents.
“It’s unfortunate because many non-ethnic Danes are teachers and engineers and contribute to society – just like you and I. We know from national integration barometers that every second non-ethnic Dane has experienced being subjected to discrimination,” he told Metroxpress. 
One couple who spoke with Metroxpress, Mustapha Katamato and his fiancee Dooha Ismail, said they have searched for a rental for five months and have not even been offered to view a property. 
“I feel harassed when I get the same short answer: ‘No, it is rented’,” 22-year-old Katamato said. 
The couple reported that they are currently awaiting further information from two potential renters, both of whom are immigrants rather than Danes. 



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