Golden Gate Ventures | Venture Capital for Southeast Asia

REGARDLESS-OF-RACE campaign aims to curb the growing trend of ethnic exclusion in the local rental market

Singapore, 18th July 2016 – 99.co, Singapore’s fastest growing property portal, today announced the launch of its REGARDLESS-OF-RACE campaign, targeted at landlords, real estate agents and renters to take a stand against rental racial discrimination.

Under this new initiative, landlords and agents are encouraged to be inclusive to all tenants through their 99.co rental listings. They can show their support for a fairer and more equal system of accepting tenants by clicking an “All races welcome” option on their existing 99.co listings. These listings will then be prominently featured on the 99.co homepage to prospective renters.

A pledge page will also be available for landlords and tenants to show their solidarity and commitment to reject racial rental discrimination. They can take a pledge to show that they oppose these practices as well as share their personal stories of rental racial discrimination they might have experienced.

“We hear what some renters have said about renting a property in Singapore  – that they face challenges in acquiring a place to call home because of their ethnicity, nationality or the colour of their skin. That is a reality we want to change,” said Darius Cheung, CEO of 99.co.

“This campaign demonstrates our principles as a company that celebrates diversity and equality as well as staying true to our promise to help property seekers find properties they love. Awareness and education needs to be done from the ground up and we are taking the time through this campaign to accomplish that.”

Impetus for the campaign stemmed from prevailing racial discrimination faced by certain ethnic groups during their rental home search journey. Currently, rental listings on property portals containing language explicitly excluding specific races and nationalities still exist. An estimated 20 percent of renters have also gotten responses such as ‘landlord doesn’t want Indians’ or ‘Sorry owner says no to PRC’ when they enquire about a property they are interested in. The most commonly discriminated against groups are Indians and mainland Chinese, which forms about half of the rental market’s demand by 99.co’s estimate.

“With vacancy rates at over 7 percent for rental properties and an overwhelming supply of completed properties coming into the market within the next 12-16 months, it is not just a moral and societal matter, it also makes economical sense for landlords to be open to all tenants,” Cheung added.

99.co’s CEO Darius Cheung has also written a blog post on his own personal discrimination experience here.

Landlords and tenants can take the REGARDLESS-OF-RACE equality pledge here.

 

Original article on Global Indonesian Voices