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Become a Civil Rights Tester

Civil rights testers assist in the investigation of housing discrimination complaints (“testing”). The testing process has been consistently supported by federal courts as legitimate, necessary, and often the only method available to identify practices of unlawful housing discrimination. Fair housing litigation filed with the help of the FHC has been based, in large part, on the evidence provided by FHC testers. Both the sworn oral testimony and the actual written reports of testers are routinely accepted by courts as evidence of discriminatory conduct by a defendant.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a tester?

Testers play the role of a home seeker (a person looking for a housing unit in which to live), objectively gather information about housing for rent or for sale, and report back on their experience. They are careful observers, accurate reporters, and truthful witnesses.

What is testing?

Testing is a term that refers to a process of checking the housing market to determine the nature and extent of discriminatory treatment accorded different home seekers. Like secret shopping in the retail industry, testing gives insight into the ordinary business practices of rental, real estate, and other housing-related firms.

Who can be a tester?

The FHC relies upon adults of all races, ethnicities, ages, and abilities to be testers. Testers can choose to volunteer or be part-time as-needed employees ($31/hour plus mileage reimbursement). Testing hours vary and typically take place during normal business hours. Access to personal transportation is helpful, but not required. For more information about tester qualifications, please email Jessica at jortiz@fhcmichigan.org.

How to Apply

Please note: Tester Applications must be completed on a computer, not on a mobile device. 

Download the FHC Tester Application, fill it out, and SAVE AS “LASTNAME Tester Application”. Please email your application to the Director of Investigations, Jessica Ortiz Farley, at jortiz@fhcmichigan.org. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis; if we have questions or wish to set up an interview, we will contact you via email.

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