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.