Campos Wants Data on LGBT Housing Policies

Supervisor David Campos will introduce legislation Tuesday to “require large developers with out-of-state properties who are applying for entitlements in San Francisco to indicate whether they have a national policy prohibiting discrimination against the LGBT community.”

If so, they must provide a copy of that policy to the city, according to a press release issued today.

The Human Rights Commission will then compile this data and present it to the Board of Supervisors on an annual basis.

The press release continues:

“We want to know whether a developer hoping to build in San Francisco is protecting LGBT housing rights when they own or manage housing in states where legal protections don’t exist” said Supervisor David Campos. “By collecting this information we can highlight best practices and urge those who do not have these policies to do the right thing.”

One in five transgender people have been refused housing in the U.S., and more than one in ten have been evicted because of their gender identity. A recent study by HUD also found that same-sex couples experience less favorable treatment than heterosexual couples in the online rental housing market, and that housing discrimination against the LGBT community continues across the country.

While California and 19 other states that do have protections for the LGBT community, the majority of states in the U.S. still do not.

“Fair housing rights are a basic legal protection that are the next logical emerging national civil rights issue for our community,” said Brian Basinger, Director of the AIDS Housing Alliance. “Along with marriage equality and employment non-discrimination, LGBT protections in our nation’s fair housing will have a direct and real impact to all LGBT people – not just the privileged few. All of us will benefit from these important changes when our nation includes sexual orientation and gender identity protections in our fair housing laws.”

“We hope this measure will lead to all developers adopting fully inclusive policies,” said Kate Kendell, Executive Director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights. “By just asking the question, the law requires developers to make clear whether they oppose discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity, and we have every reason to believe that this first step will lead to more meaningful, explicit protections.”

“In most cases we have no information or idea whatsoever how a developer interacts with minority populations, including LGBT population,” said Theresa Sparks, Executive Director of the San Francisco Human Rights Commission.  “This legislation speaks to maintaining our San Francisco Values of encouraging diversity, protecting those who cannot protect themselves and insuring all people in our City are treated equally.  It will demonstrate up-front to those wanting to work in San Francisco that our LGBT community is a valuable part of the fabric of this town and possibly encourage them, if they do not already have a diversity policy, to create one.”

“By encouraging housing providers to do the right thing so that LGBT tenants throughout the country are free from housing discrimination, this legislation is making an important contribution to the national movement to gain LGBT housing rights,” said Bill Hirsh, Executive Director of AIDS Legal Referral Panel.

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7 Comments

  1. John

    This makes no sense. Discrimination in housing on the basis of sexual orientation is already illegal, so this adds no protections and is merely yet another grandstanding of identity politics and political correctness from its master.

    I wish for once Campos would stop slicing and dicing the populace for divisive purposes and just accept that we are all individuals and not defined by a set of stereotypes.

  2. Kaliman

    There are still many instances of housing discrimination although there are laws against such actions.

    The real estate sector is not to be trusted as they are primarily interested in protecting their assets. And sometimes at the expense of individuals or families that don’t fit the landlord’s expectations.

    • John

      Kaliman, I know of no cases of that but, even if that were true, it’s not clear how Campos’s divisive token gesture would materially affect that.

      The two most lavish, expensive homes on my block, both valued at well over two million, are owned by gays. In one case they paid off the tenants and then merged the units destroying affordable rental housing.

      In SF, gay DINK couples are more a force for gentrification than they are a model victim group for Campos’s identity politics.

      • Dennis

        John, The fact that you know of no one does not mean it does not exist. Is not the “entitlements” being referenced related to low income housing thus not applicable to the wealthy neighbors you have?
        Not all LGBT are DINKS and even so double income does not equal wealth universally, especially in such a high cost of living city such as San Francisco. Remember too that LGBT+ is not just Gay Male Wealthy Couples with No Kids. It’s a broad community that spans all social economic spectrum. You are over simplifying and stereotyping. Afterall, 30% of SF’s homeless population identify as LGBT. They need affordable housing to try to make it. I believe, if not mistaken, that this is targeting developers who are seeking government benefits to server lower income housing… exactly the people who need it most.

        Also you complain that your neighbors have merged two units… and thus driving up home values in your neighborhood… including yours.
        Cities and neighborhood morph.

        • John

          Dennis, yes it’s true that the fact that I do not know of a case does not mean that it doesn’t happen. Likewise the prior claim that it does happen doesn’t mean that it actually does either.

          I’m sure there are under-housed gay folks but there are also under-housed straight folks as well. I’m not clear about the point of cross-relating the two factors.

          Where does such an approach end? That we have special policies for everyone except white male tech workers?

          Insofar as we think there is a housing problem and we think that the government could and should do something about it, how is that served by chopping the community up into an endless number of stereotypes and treating them differently? Why be so divisive? Why set different groups against each other?

  3. Dennis

    Thanks for this article and your reporting. What you do is appreciated. 
     
    I posted it to the largest LGBT Group on LinkedIn with over 25,000+ global members to spur members to read your article and to make comment. I also scooped it at Scoop.It on my LGBT Times news mashup. 
     
    Link to group >> http://www.linkedin.com/groups?home=&gid=63687
     
    All LGBT+ and community allies…. please come join me and 25,000+ of your soon to be great connections on LinkedIn. The member base represents 80% of the world’s countries.  
     
    It’s core value is – Visibility can lead to awareness which can lead to equality. Come stand with us and increase our visibility on the globe’s largest professional networking site. Be a professional who just happens to be LGBT – or a welcomed community ally.  

  4. Brian Basinger

    Hi:

    Reading the article provides valuable information. Only 20 states provide protections for LGBT people. The majority do not. A recent HUD survey across the nation shows that LGBT people experience disproportionate levels of discrimination in housing. This legislation is part of a national conversation about getting fair housing for LGBT people.

    Multiple other studies show LGBT people tend to have less income than straight people, contrary to the myth of LGBT wealth.

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