Zumper, a rental platform supported by Kleiner Perkins and the Blackstone Group, could, according to the report, systematically prevent thousands of low-income tenants from finding apartments on its platform.
According to Business Insider, commissioning in San Francisco allegedly instructed employees to screen tenants who received vouchers for Section 8 housing and automatically disqualify those who asked for available units. According to the report, the company described these tenants as “incapable of operation”.
Zumper categorically denied the allegations, and a BI spokesman said that “discrimination of any kind has never been tolerated.”
Since 2012, Zumper has increased $ 150 million build an “end-to-end” rental marketplace. It most recently closed a $ 60 million D-Series funding round in March 2020. Investors include Greycroft, Kleiner Perkins and Axel Springer, along with real estate players Blackstone Group, DivcoWest and Marcus & Millichap.
Several sources have stated to Business Insider that discriminatory practices are based on the brokerage firm Zumper Select launched in 2017. Zumper has created filters on its website to examine prospects and create a list of agreements to provide potential customers to agents in New York, Chicago, Houston, Atlanta and Denver.
Several sources who worked on Zumper’s tenant qualification team, which examined the prospects, said managers had told them to dismiss candidates from Section 8. “They told us to email the tenants back and said,” We don’t have any inventory that meets your criteria, “said one source. Zumper’s customer relationship manager automatically inspected some tenants before they were inspected.
The former manager told Business Insider that they had raised their concerns with high-level executives, and in 2018 or 2019, the company discontinued automated screening. The spokesman confirmed that Zumper Select is “no longer part” of the company’s business.
Discrimination against tenants who use Section 8 vouchers is illegal in many major markets, including New York and Chicago. But pattern of prejudices in industry it remains widespread. The 2019 Newsday spacecraft found widespread bias among Long Island real estate agents who directed minority buyers to certain neighborhoods.
[Business Insider] – EB Solomont