In light of the significant civil rights win for LGBTQ Americans last week, Zillow has announced that all for-sale and rental listings on its platform now includes data on LGBT local legal protections.
After years of pride marches and persistent social movements, the efforts of LGBTQ Americans have started to pay off as the US Supreme Court ruled that gender identity and sexual orientation were now protected under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which prohibits sex discrimination in employment and housing.
To provide home shoppers with more information on this matter, Zillow has created a data-powered resource that shows if a for-sale or rental listing is in a community where state and local regulations explicitly protect LGBTQ people from housing discrimination.
"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. "That's why we strongly support federal-level protections as part of the Equality Act. In lieu of federal law and in the spirit of 'turning on the lights,' we want to give people the most information possible when buying, renting and financing a home, including which communities provide equal protection under the law for all."
Currently, only 22 US states and the District of Columbia offer statewide legal protection from housing discrimination – forbidding landlords from evicting, and refusing those who identify as LGBTQ to rent or buy a home based on their sexual orientation or transgender status. However, those laws can vary significantly by jurisdiction and do not exist at the federal level.
While these states give LGBTQ people with a sense of equality, Zillow found in a recent study that buying a home or renting in a state, city, or county with explicit legal protection from discrimination comes at a sky-high price for the LGBTQ community.
In jurisdictions that have statewide non-discriminatory housing protections in place, LGBTQ home buyers pay an average $328,575 for a typical home, nearly 63% higher than in areas with no LGBTQ protections. This means typical home values in those areas are about $127,000 higher than home values in places without.