Testers are people in the community who take on the role of a perspective homeowner or renter for the purpose of gathering information to identify unlawful discrimination and to ensure that individuals or companies are in compliance with the Federal Fair Housing Act. Testers may be more commonly known as “mystery shoppers”.
Testing is a controlled process designed to identify differences in treatment of individuals who are similar in every significant respect except the variable being tested (i.e. race or number of children). Testing allows us to measure and document differences in the quality, content, and quantity of information and services. It is a legal process, upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court, by which the nature and extent of illegal discrimination can be ascertained.
In all tests you will take on characteristics of an assigned profile, which will differ from who you actually are. Typically, you will be asked to view an apartment as a perspective tenant and write a factual, detailed and objective account of what transpired on your test. You will be properly trained and prepared for any assignment you are asked to perform.
Each test will vary. Generally, you should allow between 1 to 3 hours to complete a test. Accepting a test assignment is on a voluntary basis. However, if you accept a test assignment it is crucial that you have time available to complete the test from start to finish. Testing is not a regular part time job. There is no set schedule and you will be called to test based upon the needs of the investigations. Testers with the greatest availability, reliable transportation, timely completion of report forms, and well-written narrative accounts are all factors in the organization’s ability to provide assignments.
A small stipend is provided to testers who complete their assignments. The stipend amount depends upon the type of test conducted.
To become a tester, you will need to complete a tester application, attend a required training session, and perform a practice test.
For an application or for additional information, please contact Michelle Morgan, Coordinator of Investigations, at 504-717-4257.