*A Nevada woman has come forward to discuss her stint as a housing discrimination tester at one of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s properties in the 1970s, reports the Las Vegas Sun.
The woman, Sheila Morse, was dispatched by the Department of Justice’s Human Rights Commission to one of Trump’s New York properties after a black man was turned down after inquiring about an apartment for rent. Morse, who is white, said she went in the next day to ask about the same apartment and was welcomed “with open arms.”
Morse tells her story in a video released today (Oct 25) by the pro-Clinton super PAC Correct the Record. The organization has been releasing video testimonials about encounters with Trump as part of its series, “The Trump Project.”
As a housing tester, Morse was tasked with visiting various locations where minorities were turned down for housing to see whether she would receive the same response.
In her retelling of the story, Morse said that when the black man had inquired about the “apartment for rent” sign hanging outside the building, he was told by the superintendent that the apartment had been rented and that the sign was hanging outside in error. When she showed up next day, the sign was still hanging outside, and Morse said she was welcomed into the building and immediately shown around the apartment.
She said that when she said she would take the apartment, the superintendent was “thrilled” and said he would have the lease ready the next day. “I guess I was the right color and the gentleman was the wrong color,” Morse said.
The Washington Post, the New York Times, and others media outlets have published reports on the various housing testers at Trump properties, including those as part of the 1973 lawsuit the Justice Department filed against Trump management, alleging violations of the Fair Housing Act of 1968.
Trump addressed the lawsuit in the first presidential debate, noting that it was settled without admission of guilt. Still, as part of the settlement deal, Trump management was required to place ads to let minorities know that they would be guaranteed equal access to housing at their properties.