Six in ten Asian-born Australians experience racism in accessing housing, survey finds
It is typical of a Left-leaning newspaper like the SMH to blame everything on racism. If you believed Leftist media outlets, you would think Australia rivals Nazi Germany for racism.
As it happens, I usually have both Chinese and Indian tenants so I suppose I can talk with some immunity from a charge of racism.
The first thing to note is that the data is highly suspect. Online surveys tend to be answered by those who have a dog in the fight concerned. Much lower and differently distributed examples of discrimination could be expected from a representative survey. So the findings below are essentially rubbish from beginning to end.
From my involvement in the matter, what is actually happening is dislike not of the race of a tenant but the inability to communicate well with people who have poor English. And East Asians find English very difficult to learn. I am sure that Asian speakers of Australian English would rarely find difficulty.
I put up with poor English because I have found Chinese to be otherwise exceptionally good tenants. Indians are more diverse but usually have passable English and I like their generally cheerful attitudes. Indian English is the de facto national language of India so Indians have little difficulty in adapting to Australian English
When it comes to access to housing in Australia, the playing field is far from even.
Our recent research has found that race matters. Many Australians experience racism and discrimination based on their cultural background.
This is particularly the case for Asian Australians. They experience much higher rates of racism across a variety of everyday settings, but particularly when renting or buying a house.
An online national survey of 6001 Australians measured the extent and variation of racist attitudes and experiences. We examined the impacts of where Australians are born and what language they speak at home on their experiences of racism.
Our research revealed that if you were born overseas, or if your parents were born overseas and you speak a language other than English at home, you are likely to have many more experiences of racism than other Australians. Racism is experienced in a variety of settings –workplaces, educational institutions, shopping centres, public spaces and online.
Survey participants born in Asia were twice as likely as other Australians to experience everyday racism. In fact, 84 per cent of these Asian Australians experienced racism.
For those born in Australia to parents who were both born in an Asian country, rates of racism were just as high (86 per cent).
If you speak an Asian language at home, your experiences of racism are also likely to be high. Speakers of South Asian and East Asian languages experience racism at alarming rates – 85 per cent and 88 per cent respectively. Those who speak Southwest/Central Asian and Southeast Asian languages experience rates of discrimination (79 per cent and 78 per cent respectively) similar to those for all participants of a non-English-speaking background (77 per cent).
Anti-Asian housing discrimination
Published findings for New South Wales and Queensland in the 1990s revealed that 6.4 per cent of Australians reported having experienced ethnic-based discrimination when renting or buying a house. Our recent national study has found this proportion has increased dramatically. In recent years, 24 per cent of Australians have experienced housing discrimination.
As with the broader pattern of everyday racism, Asian Australians are feeling the brunt of housing discrimination. Almost six in ten (59 per cent) Asia-born participants in our study experienced racism in accessing housing. This compares to only 19 per cent of non-Asian-born participants.
Asia-born respondents were also more likely to report frequent experiences of housing discrimination. Some 13 per cent reported these experiences occurred “often” or “very often”. This is more than three times the average exposure of non-Asian-born Australians.
In particular, participants born in Northeast and South/Central Asia are more frequently exposed to racism in housing. And 15 per cent and 16 per cent respectively reported housing discrimination occurred “often” or “very often”. This compares to only 9 per cent of those born in Southeast Asia.
The survey also found that if you have two Asia-born parents you are highly likely to experience such racism (44 per cent). Similarly, if you speak a language other than English at home (especially an Asian language), you are more likely to experience housing discrimination (45 per cent).
South Asian language speakers (e.g. Hindi, Tamil, Sinhalese) experience housing discrimination at a much higher rate of 63 per cent. The rate for East Asian language speakers (e.g. Chinese, Japanese, Korean) is 55 per cent. Only 19 per cent of English-only speakers had the same experiences.