Guidelines on asking race & ethnicity and sexual orientation and gender identity questions

Guidelines on Race & Ethnicity and Spoken Languages

The purpose of the MOHCD guidelines for categorizing race and ethnicity is to have consistency in MOHCD reports on the delivery of MOHCD-funded programs and the program outcomes by race and ethnicity. MOHCD has revised these guidelines so that it can collect disaggregated race and ethnicity data on its program beneficiaries. The disaggregated data will better enable MOHCD to assess whether its programs are serving the intended beneficiaries and to evaluate how well the programs are meeting the needs of the intended beneficiaries.

The race and ethnicity categories that are listed represent MOHCD’s understanding of the race and ethnic breakdown of the low and moderate-income community in San Francisco, which is its primary target population. MOHCD recognizes that race and ethnicity categories are social constructs and that they are dynamic concepts, the meanings of which change based on the ways individuals, communities and institutions identify themselves and others. The revised categories were developed with input from community groups. MOHCD’s approach to naming and categorizing races and ethnicities is intended to maintain consistency across programs and over time, so that data are as comparable and interpretable as possible, while also striving to reflect the way people and communities construct and experience their own identities. Individuals need to be able to see themselves and their communities reflected. Reviewers of data need to be confident that any MOHCD data reported by race and ethnicity are using the same terms to refer to the same groups.

MOHCD Guidelines on the Collection of Data on Race and Ethnicity and Language Spoken at Home (pdf)

Guidelines on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

For all our programs, the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development (MOHCD) asks for gender identity and sexual orientation to better serve the LGBTQ community. We want to identify how people are being served, and if there are any gaps. Ultimately, we want to track improvements in access over time

Starting July 1, 2017, MOHCD changed the way we ask about gender, as well as sexual orientation. We had been collecting this information, but have updated our policy based on guidelines by the Department of Public Health.

Gender identity is someone's understanding of their own gender, or the gender that they identify with.

Sexual orientation is the enduring pattern in the gender(s) to whom a person is sexually or romantically attracted. This question should only be asked of adults 18 years and older. The answer should come from the respondent directly.

MOHCD Guidelines on the Collection of Data on Sex and Gender and Sexual Orientation (pdf)

Data Privacy

Data privacy is important to MOHCD. We understand it is sensitive. We won't share or display any pesonally identifiable information (PII).

Last updated September 29, 2022