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The Black renting journey

This researched Housing Journey identifies distinct obstacles that may affect Black consumers throughout their renting experience. You’ll also be able to learn about solutions we’re creating to help address these barriers every step of the way.

Black father and daughter

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Housing Preparation

Preparing to rent

You’ll need to know what monthly rent you can afford, and be prepared to pay up-front costs like a deposit, application fee, and first month’s rent. Black renters often face more obstacles than white renters in becoming ready to start their search.


state the security deposit amount is a very important factor in choosing their rental home.
Fannie Mae Multifamily Renter Needs Research, August 2021
Saving up for the security deposit

Black consumers tend to experience more income volatility,1 have less liquid assets,2 and cannot obtain as much financial help from family as white renters.3 As a result, they may face challenges saving up for a security deposit or other up-front costs of renting.

1 Hardy, Morduch, Darity, and Hamilton, 2018
2 Survey of Consumer Finances, 2019
3 Fannie Mae calculations using the SCF 2019

28 months

Average time a voucher holder spends on a waiting list.

HUD Picture of Subsidized Households, 2020
Voucher challenges

Black households were 50% of Housing Choice Voucher holders in 2020.1 Almost half (46%) of renters with a voucher said they would have trouble finding a place that would accept their voucher.2

1 HUD Picture of Subsidized Households, 2020
2 Fannie Mae Multifamily Renter Needs Research, August 2021

Fannie Mae actions

  • Pilot options to defray and/or decrease the cost of renter security deposits to help Black and Latino renters qualify for quality rental housing and increase savings
  • Continue to advance Sponsor-Initiated Affordability (SIA), a Fannie Mae Multifamily loan incentive initiative for use by multifamily borrowers and lenders

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Find and rent a home or apartment

Choose suitable locations and search by consulting a real estate agent or looking through available rental listings. You’ll need to fill out an application, have it approved, and pay up-front rental fees and costs. Black renters often face more obstacles than white renters in being shown available rentals and getting applications approved.


Black home seekers were told about 11.4% fewer rental units than white renters.
Turner, et al., 2013
Finding available rentals

Black renters face more difficulties finding information about available rental units.

have had a rental application turned down.
Fannie Mae Multifamily Renter Needs Research, August 2021
Rental application rejection

Black renters’ applications are rejected more often than white renters’ applications.

Fannie Mae actions

  • Pilot positive rental payment reporting across the multifamily industry
  • Expand Future Housing Leaders® (FHL) to increase access to paid internship and entry-level job opportunities in the housing industry offered by top employers who are actively engaged in promoting diversity and inclusion

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Move In & Maintain

Be a confident renter

Once in your rental, you’ll need to pay rent every month as well as ongoing costs like utilities. Black renters are more often impacted by unforeseen fees and higher eviction rates than white renters.


Fannie Mae Multifamily Renter Needs Research, August 2021
Charges and fees

Additionally, nearly twice as many Black renters than white renters experienced moving charges that were not stipulated in the lease.

Average eviction rate:

Hepburn, et al., 2020

Black renters receive the highest share of eviction filings and judgments.

Fannie Mae actions

  • Positive rent payment history for renters
  • Expanded counseling services to renters and homeowners facing hardship

Fannie Mae actions to help diversify the housing industry

We are pushing our company and the housing industry to better reflect the true diversity of our nation and communities we serve. Our innovative programs aim to grow a more inclusive housing sector for renters, homeowners, lenders, borrowers, and our employees.

  • Future Housing Leaders® — Attracts more college students to positions across the mortgage and housing industries.
  • Multifamily Borrower Diversity Program
  • DUS® Correspondent Lender Diversity Program
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