LGBTQ+ Housing Availability and Affordability
“Compared to non-LGBT people, LGBT people appear to be more likely to face housing unaffordability, are less likely to own their homes and are more likely to be renters, and are more likely to be homeless.”
Does this sound familiar? Even if you haven’t faced outright discrimination, buying a home is often a daunting experience for the LGBTQ+ community.
The quote above comes from a study in 2020 by the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law.
What else does the report have to say?
- According to data from 35 states, nearly half (49.8%) of LGBT adults own their homes, compared to 70.1% of non-LGBT adults (Conron, 2019).
- LGBT people face widespread harassment and discrimination by housing providers, who, for example, studies have shown are less likely to respond to rental inquiries from same-sex couples (Friedman et al., 2013).
You can learn more at LGBT People and Housing Affordability, Discrimination, and Homelessness.
Homes are an Important Foundation
At the LGBTQ+ Real Estate Alliance, we know how important it is to improve housing availability for the community and provide stable homes for LGBTQ+ families.
For many, owning a home is the biggest investment of a lifetime and provides a safe foundation for financial stability. Homeownership has also proven to provide security and emotional strength, leading children to do well in school, consistent commutes for work and shopping, and reduction of stress for the entire family.
Simply put, home ownership is the way forward.
Are Things Changing?
While reaching an ideal state of equality and non-discrimination always seems to be a step ahead, things are changing.
- Today, twenty-one states and the District of Columbia have non-discrimination laws covering sexual orientation and gender identity.
- 67% of the LGBTQ+ population lives in states that either explicitly prohibit housing discrimination based on gender identity and orientation, interpret existing laws to prohibit discrimination, or at least prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation only.
- The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) interprets the Fair Housing Act’s ban on sex-based discrimination to include discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
To learn more, visit the HUD.gov website’s article: Housing Discrimination and Persons Identifying as LGBTQ+.
The LGBTQ+ Real Estate Alliance
Of course, government does not always have the answer. Often, when communities work together for their own benefit, the best results can be achieved.
That’s why we formed the LGBTQ+ Real Estate Alliance.
The Alliance was launched in June 2020 by leading members of the real estate industry. Influential real estate professionals and allies joined with other members of the LGBTQ+ community to create a new voice in real estate.
Founded as a 501 (c) 6 organization, we’re a business association, much like a chamber of commerce.
The Alliance began accepting members from a wide range of professionals in the real estate and housing industries starting in October 2020 with a mission to advocate for fair housing for all and to promote LGBTQ+ homeownership; to elevate professionalism in the industry through education and networking; and to celebrate diversity and inclusion in our members and allied partners.
Continuing Changes Toward Equality
What else is happening when it comes to equality and acceptance of the LGBTQ+ community?
The Equality Act, currently stalled in the U.S. Senate, is designed to amend existing civil rights laws by providing consistent and explicit non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ+ people in areas such as employment, housing credit, education, and more.
Provisions in the Equality Act would update current laws about discrimination in public spaces and services to include transportation, retail, banks, and legal services.
We also applaud President Biden who has already made a number of positive moves for the LGBTQ+ community including:
- Reversing restrictions on transgender individuals serving in the military and returning to more inclusive policies.
- Revoking the Trump Administration’s order limiting diversity training in the federal government.
- Rescinding proposed changes to the Equal Access Rule and continuing the Rule’s prohibitions against discrimination in HUD-funded housing based on gender and sexual identity.
The Biden administration is also working toward restoring the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Regulation, a rule preventing Housing and Urban Development (HUD) from discrimination in their programs, which also includes the cities, counties, states and public housing agencies funded by HUD.
Nationally, there is strong public and business support for non-discrimination legislation like the Equality Act. The nonpartisan Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) reports that support generally tops 70 percent, which includes a majority of Democrats, Republicans, and Independents. The Equality Act itself has been endorsed by more than 630 organizations, including civil rights, education, health care, and faith-based organizations.
Looking for Real Estate Professionals in our National Chapter Program?
The mission of the Alliance Chapter Program is to provide local gathering points for LGBTQ++ and allied real estate and housing industry practitioners. If you are looking for engaged professionals who believe in the mission of the LGBTQ+ + Real Estate Alliance, then visit out National Chapter Program page.