Fair Housing:

Annotated Complainant Survey, an E-supplement to GAO-06-79

GAO-06-81SP: Published: Oct 31, 2005. Publicly Released: Oct 31, 2005.

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A recent GAO report assessed the thoroughness of the process used by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to resolve complaints of housing discrimination (GAO-06-79). As part of that study, GAO did a telephone survey, which is reproduced here, of a sample of complainants in housing discrimination cases that were investigated and closed by HUD's Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity (FHEO) and state and local Fair Housing Assistance Program (FHAP) agencies from July 1 through December 31, 2004. A survey research firm under contract to GAO interviewed a random sample of 575 complainants to determine their levels of satisfaction with the thoroughness, fairness, timeliness, and outcomes of the complaint intake and investigation process. Using HUD records, GAO mailed advance letters to and subsequently called the complainants of record in 1,517 eligible cases. The response rate was 38 percent, resulting in the 575 complete interviews. The sample was allocated proportionally across three types of case closures (administrative, conciliation without determination of cause, or a determination of no cause) and responsible agency (FHEO or FHAP). Results were weighted, or statistically adjusted, to make them representative of the entire population of 4,327 complaints closed in the 6-month period the sample covered. The fieldwork was conducted in May and June of 2005 in accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards. The computer-assisted telephone interviewing questionnaire reproduced here is annotated with the unweighted number of actual respondents answering each question and the weighted estimates of the percentages giving each answer. Because this survey was conducted with only a sample of the entire population, the results are subject to sampling error--that is, the natural variations that may arise because this sample was only one of any number of samples that could have been drawn to represent the same population. As a result, each of the percentage estimates is followed by a 95 percent confidence interval showing the range that would contain the true value for the actual population for 95 percent of the samples we could have drawn.

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