Making Housing Accessible
Zillow invests in partnerships, research, and products that help build sustainable communities.
When many Americans look to buy, sell, rent, or finance a home, the first place they turn is Zillow, the on-demand real estate platform that helps consumers with data, inspiration, and knowledge. Zillow, based in Seattle, Washington, is the most-visited real estate website in the United States.
Zillow’s impact program, Zillow for Good, underscores its commitment to sustainable cities and communities. Through this program, Zillow embraces the idea of “home as the heartbeat”—central to life and essential to it. As part of Zillow for Good, the company invests in partnerships, research, and products that it hopes will affect people’s lives for the better.
Each of Zillow’s business and product investments underlines its commitment to solving housing insecurity, homelessness, and fair housing issues. For instance, Zillow’s partnership with the Technology Access Foundation (TAF) uses science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, or STEM, for realizing social change and educational equality in communities of color and for people with low incomes. The company works with TAF by welcoming students to Zillow for annual worksite tours that make these students aware of the work opportunities available to them at Zillow. Students typically spend an entire day at Zillow’s campus, hearing from employees in different departments, engaging with a lunchtime panel of Zillow employees, and participating in interactive workshops in which Zillow employees teach them how to conceptualize, build, and market a new product and code a website.
Zillow is committed to making sure every American has an opportunity to exercise the right to vote. For instance, the company has a service on its website that provides renters with an easy, automatic way to register to vote in their new location. Zillow plans to extend its commitment to voter registration in coming elections, as it continues to use data to address longstanding challenges such as systemic inequality and racism.
When it comes to providing fair and equitable access to housing, Zillow, a member of Seattle’s Innovation Advisory Council, has developed an Affordable Housing Search Tool for the city’s Housing Connector. Through another initiative, the Local Legal Protections Resource, Zillow helps the LGBTQ community understand nondiscrimination laws for housing, employment, and public accommodations.
Zillow also shines a spotlight on public policy issues through its research arm. Recent Zillow Research reports on climate change, homelessness, housing affordability, and other topics that have been the basis for informational events, such as roundtables and public policy campaigns. One recent report highlighted the burdens faced by minimum-wage earners who pay rent and how a minimum wage increase would affect them, raising awareness of an issue critical for many Americans. Other research examined denials of mortgages for Black applicants and disparities in home values between races.
As one of the nation’s leading platforms connecting people to the housing they need, Zillow has recognized its tremendous potential to make an impact.
Sustainable Development Goals
The Sands Capital six investment criteria tend to lead us to businesses that are innovators or vital facilitators of change in industries undergoing significant transformation. Zillow is one of many portfolio businesses that create impact by addressing at least one major social or environmental challenge identified by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs to which Zillow contributes are SDG 10, Reduced Inequalities; SDG 11, Sustainable Cities and Communities; and SDG 16, Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions.
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