DEPARTMENT OF FAIR EMPLOYMENT AND HOUSING ANNOUNCES AGREEMENT WITH AIRBNB TO COMBAT RACE DISCRIMINATION IN HOUSING
April 27, 2017
For Immediate Release
The Department of Fair Employment and Housing and Airbnb agree on steps to prevent and combat racial discrimination on housing platform
The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing today announced an agreement with San Francisco-based Airbnb, Inc. to support ongoing efforts to reduce bias and combat discrimination on Airbnb’s platform. The agreement follows a Director’s complaint filed by the Department in June of 2016 that led to more than ten months of investigation and collaborative work between DFEH and the company.
Under the agreement, DFEH will conduct fair housing testing of certain California Airbnb hosts. Fair housing testing involves the use of trained individuals and/or the creation of customer profiles with specific characteristics to pose as prospective renters in order to gather information about whether a host is complying with fair housing laws.
“We will continue to work collaboratively with Airbnb to prevent racial discrimination by its hosts,” said DFEH Director Kevin Kish. “California is committed to removing all discriminatory barriers in housing, including in new platforms and marketplaces. Fair housing testing is an important and powerful tool in enforcing fair housing laws.”
As part of the agreement, Airbnb will take measures in addition to those the company has been implementing since September 2016 in consultation with other civil rights experts. Airbnb will advise all users with complaints of racial discrimination of their right to file a complaint with DFEH, and will regularly report to the Department on guest acceptances by race in California.
Airbnb, Inc. has more than 76,000 hosts in California.
CRD is the state agency charged with enforcing California’s civil rights laws. Formerly known as the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH), the mission of CRD is to protect the people of California from unlawful discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodations, and state-fund programs and activities, and from hate violence and human trafficking. For more information, visit calcivilrights.ca.gov.