Ethnic prejudices and public support for anti-discrimination policies on the housing market

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Notwithstanding persistent levels of ethnic discrimination on the rental housing market, we have witnessed in many West-European countries a shift from targeted multicultural to colour-blind policies. At the same time, anti-immigration attitudes remained relatively stable. Whether and how these attitudes are translated in support or aversion toward anti-discrimination policies is, however, still unclear. As the first study in Europe we analyse public support for eight policy measures to tackle rental discrimination against ethnic minorities. Based on multilevel analyses among a sample of 899 adults in Belgium, we show that there is large support among the general public for testing, training and campaigning against ethnic discrimination on the housing market. General support for affirmative action measures is, however, much lower. In addition, support for anti-discrimination policies is strongly related to ethnic prejudices. People with more – especially subtle – prejudices are less likely to support policies against rental discrimination. Moreover, prejudices also mediate the effects of interethnic contacts and outgroup size on policy support. Finally, local housing market indicators do not play a significant role in the public support for anti-discrimination policies on the housing market.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)258-283
Number of pages26
Issue number2
Early online date2022
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: The data collection of this study has been funded by SBO-FWO under Grant S004119N.

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2022.

Copyright 2023 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


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