Q: The real estate industry now has FOUR LGBT real estate networks. What separates and distinguishes the Alliance from the others?
A. We are a member organization. We have created bylaws that specifically give our members governing rights. As a 501(c)6 organization, we will be able to execute on real advocacy and policy initiatives and drive change on a comprehensive level. A charity 501(c)3 organization is prohibited from expressing its views. All of the other LGBTQ organizations are either for-profit or 501(c)3 registered charity organizations.
Q. Where will the Alliance focus its resources and talents in Year One?
A. We are taking a multi-prong approach to tackling 2021. Our main focuses are:
- Membership growth and development to ensure that we’re building a comprehensive membership base for consumers and professionals
- Advocating for fair and equal housing regardless of the election results
- Providing opportunities for allies to grow and learn and, in some cases, even understand what it means to be an ally
- Supporting the community as a whole – this means all colors of the spectrum and all letters of the LGBTQ+ acronym.
Q. Come December 2021, what is the single biggest impact you want the Alliance to have had on members and the LGBTQ community?
A. We exist to increase the overall percentage of LGBTQ+ homeownership and continue to foster wealth-creation through housing within our community. A secure job, duel income channels, and major life events like marriage all contribute to increases in homeownership in other communities. Other communities can rely on tracking through HUD and the Census Bureau for information – we cannot.
Our stamp on 2021 will to create a benchmark for home ownership data within the LGBTQ+ community. We’ll be able to revisit these metrics throughout the future to show that we’re making an impact and increasing homeownership in our community after we have established the baseline on which to gauge the impact.
Q. The Alliance is dedicating resources in Year One to educating and informing Allies about working with the LGBTQs. Why would you make straight Allies a priority in your inaugural season?
A. No movement has achieved equal rights protections without engaging their allies. Our community is no exception, only, it’s harder to determine who’s an ally when they may not even know the term, or be able to identify the needs or desires of the community they are in allegiance with. Like in every other aspect of life, education provides a base for knowledge and knowledge leads to understanding. In order to obtain equal rights protections, our community needs the voices of every one of us AND every ally who is willing to speak up on our behalf. The key to all of that is education.
Q. It is legal to discriminate against LGBTQs in 27 states. What role can the Alliance have in changing that trend?
A. The LGBTQ+ community has suffered greater equal rights protections setbacks in the past four years than nearly the two decades prior combined. The best thing I can imagine is putting myself out of a job within five years because housing equality is extended across the entire federal footprint for our community, and buyers feel confident that their experience won’t be negative because of who they love or how they identify. Until that day comes, it’s our responsibilities as ambassadors to our communities (cultural and literal communities) to fight for fair housing and practice what we advocate for on a grassroots level.
Q. Will the Alliance have a policy agenda? If so, what will be your focus since the Equality Act is stalled?
A. We’ve already started planning our inaugural Policy & Advocacy Summit, hopefully in person in Washington DC later in the Spring. Our focus is the following:
- LGBTQ+ Equal Rights
- LGBTQ+ Aging (youth and senior social issues)
- Trans social issues
- LGBTQ+ Homelessness