What is a Tester?
As a tester, you play the role of a home seeker - a person who is looking for a housing unit in which to live. Testers must be at least 18 years old, objective, careful observers, accurate reporters, and truthful and credible witnesses. View the Qualifications for Testers for more information on what characteristics are important in a tester.
Testers are paid a stipend and can be fully remote!
Become a Tester
Our housing tester program is an interesting way to learn about the community and get first hand experience with fair housing. Testers play the role of a home seeker and participate in apartment showings, open houses, and other experiences to help us monitor fair housing practices. Testers are of vital importance to the advocacy and research programs of the Fair Housing Center. Without a vast and diverse pool of volunteer testers, the Fair Housing Center would be drastically limited in our ability to conduct research and investigate claims of illegal discrimination.
What is Testing?
Testing is a term used to describe the process of checking the housing market to determine the nature and extent of discriminatory treatment practiced against various home seekers. For example, in matched pair testing two or more individuals, similar in every respect other than the variable being tested, are sent to the same sales or rental office. Testers keep careful notes as to what transpires, and then record their experience on a standard report form. Differences in the treatment of testers often form the bases for successful resolution of a housing discrimination complaint.
The testing process has been consistently supported by federal courts as a legitimate and necessary method to identify practices of unlawful housing discrimination. In West Michigan, successful complaints filed by claimants have been based upon evidence obtained by Fair Housing Center testers.
How Do I Become a Tester?
If you are interested in taking on the challenging and rewarding role of a tester, email us to learn about upcoming tester training dates. To register for a tester training via phone, or for more information about testing, contact Sarah Brandt at (616) 438-5712 or 1-866-389-FAIR.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the housing market has tightened considerably in Michigan as well as on a national scale. The need to ensure fair housing practices is increasingly significant when choices are already reduced.