LGBTQ+ homeownership gap

Article Courtesy of Axios News

People need to earn $150,000 to afford the typical home in LGBTQ+-friendly areas like D.C. — nearly 50% higher than areas without LGBTQ+ protections, according to a recent Redfin study.

Why it matters: The homebuying barrier is higher for LGBTQ+ people than their cis and/or straight counterparts.

Zoom in: The median household income in the DMV is nearly $30,000 below what’s needed to afford the median-priced home, per Redfin’s report.

Yes, but: The D.C. area is relatively affordable compared to other metros with large LGBTQ+ populations. For instance, there’s a $223,000+ gap between median incomes and income needed to afford the typical home in San Francisco.

The big picture: The LGBTQ+ homeownership rate is 20 percentage points lower than the rate for straight and cisgender people, per the Urban Institute.

  • Income inequality is partly to blame, especially for trans people of color, research shows.
  • Larger cities (often with higher costs of living) tend to offer more LGBTQ+ protections.
  • D.C.’s proposed 2025 budget includes millions of dollars to support local LGBTQ+ communities.
  • Some of those funds will go toward a rare hub where LGBTQ+ people in the region can access a range of services — from counseling to yoga and meditation classes and free hot meals, Axios Anna Spiegel reports.

Between the lines: States with relatively affordable housing may not be safe for the LGBTQ+ communities.

  • For instance, Louisville, Kentucky, is one of few metros where the median-priced home is considered affordable, but the ACLU is tracking 14 anti-LGBTQ+ bills in the state currently.

Reality check: Even in metros with LGBTQ+-friendly protections, the homebuying process can be scary.

  • Cinde Wollenberg bought her Winchester-area home in 2018, back when she and her now-wife were dating.
  • She used a “queer-friendly Realtor” and did all of the closing paperwork herself.
  • “The house remains just in my name in part to protect us from any local government harassment — and to keep our joint name out of property records which are available to the public,” Wollenberg shares with Axios.

What they’re saying: “Safety is the state you live in, down to your neighbors,” David Siroty, a spokesperson for the LGBTQ+ Real Estate Alliance, tells Axios.

  • “If your neighbors accept you, would they accept you having kids? There are considerations outside of the financial.”


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