Nine current and former employees of the real estate startup Zumper stated that during their time there they systematically selected a few low-income tenants who received government support and inquired about apartments on the site.
The federal government's Section 8 voucher program helps subsidize rental costs. For decades, many landlords and brokers have passed over tenants from Section 8 based on untrue stereotypes and stigmas. In some major markets – including New York City and Chicago, where the company's Zumper Select program has been the focus – it is illegal for a landlord or broker to discriminate against tenants based on Section 8 status.
Current and former employees and leaked data suggested that Zumper – an ambitious company backed by renowned investors like Blackstone, Kleiner Perkins and Andreessen Horowitz – was exacerbating prejudice patterns that plagued the residential property market for decades.
A Zumper representative denied that there was any discrimination based on Section 8 status and told Business Insider that the company does not tolerate any discrimination against Section 8 or any other protected tenant category.