Online real estate site Zillow now shows LGBT non-discrimination laws
The online real estate listings Zillow now has a feature that shows all for sale and rental listings with data on LGBT Local Legal Protections.
This feature is a data-powered resource that would help LGBT homeowners to see whether for sale or rental listings are in communities where state and local protections explicitly protect LGBT individuals.
Zillow working on helping LGBT people
Seattle-based Zillow’s properties listings will have information about the jurisdiction and local laws in place that give fair and equal treatment based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
“It’s 2020, and yet, unfortunately, in many parts of the United States, LGBTQ+ home shoppers still face housing discrimination,” said Dawn Lyon, Zillow chief corporate relations officer.
While Zillow supports federal-level protections like the Equality Act, Lyon said they want give people “the most information possible when buying, renting and financing a home,” including equal protection under the law.
Presently, 22 US states and the District of Columbia offer statewide laws that explicitly prohibit housing discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
However, according to the nonprofit Movement Advancement Project (MAP), 25 states don’t offer protections at all to LGBT individuals in housing.
In a survey by the Zillow Consumer Housing Trends Report, only 28 percent of LGBTQ+ buyers and 29 percent of LGBTQ+ renters agreed to a survey statement: “I feel accepted for who I am by those around me where I live.”
Zillow info on fair housing laws a first
The information available in the listings will show housing, employment, and public accommodations. It will be broken into sexual orientation and gender identity.
“This definitely won’t end here,”” said Doug Pope, Zillow vice president of rentals product teams.
“There are other communities discriminated against in the US and our hope is that we can expand our efforts to shine a light on the presence– or absence– of fair housing laws that impact those communities,” Pope said.
Aside from Zillow, Trulia will also have the feature. Trulia is also owned by the Zillow Group.
Likewise, the feature will cover listings for both on- and off-market properties. The feature is similar to existing filters that include commute time, comparable homes, and nearby schools.
According to MAP, Zillow and Trulia are likely to be the only real estate listings search sites in the US that offer such a filter.
Equality Act and LGBT homeownership
Last year, LGBT groups, including those in real estate, lauded the approval of the Equality Act by the US House of Representatives to stop housing discrimination based on sexual orientation.
“This is a monumental step for the LGBT community in our continued fight for equality,” said Jeff Berger, founder of the National Association of Gay and Lesbian Real Estate Professionals (NAGLREP).
However, it still needs to be passed by the Republican-controlled Senate and signed into the law by President Donald Trump.
Trump has called the Act as being “filled with poison pills that threaten to undermine parental and conscience rights.”