Study: Discrimination Limits LGBTQ Homeownership

by | May 29, 2021 | Uncategorized | 0 comments

A 46-page report from Freddie Mac and an LGBTQ alliance finds $1T in housing-market buying power – but at 49.8%, LGBTQ ownership trails the overall 65.8% rate.

​WASHINGTON – Perceived and real threats of discrimination prevent many members of the LGBTQ community from purchasing a home, according to a new study from the LGBTQ+ Real Estate Alliance in partnership with Freddie Mac. The 46-page report looks at how discrimination throughout LGBTQ people’s lives can influence housing decisions. Survey respondents shared a range of experiences in facing discrimination, from the renting and homebuying process, to the legal and mortgage forms they signed.

The LGBTQ community has an estimated potential for $1 trillion in buying power in the housing market that hasn’t been fully unlocked, according to the report. At 49.8%, the homeownership rate for the LGBTQ population trails the overall U.S. average of 65.8%, the report says.

However, discrimination isn’t illegal based on sexual orientation and gender identity under the Fair Housing Act – but most people aren’t aware of that, the report’s authors claim. Twenty-seven states also don’t offer any housing protections for the LGBTQ population, according to UCLA’s Williams Institute, a research center tracking sexual orientation and gender identity law and public policy.

Study findings

  • 13.8% of LGBTQ respondents said they signed legal forms – such as mortgage, purchase agreement, or title documents – that did not adequately represent their life experiences. Nearly 11% said a real estate professional discriminated against them in the renting or homebuying process, and 5% had a landlord refuse to rent to them.
  • About 89% of LGBTQ+ Real Estate Alliance members say they find it at least somewhat important to live in an LGBTQ-friendly community.
  • 54% reported concern about facing discrimination if they eventually need to live in a senior housing opportunity.
  • 1 in 5 transgender adults say they’ve faced discrimination when seeking a home.
  • More than 1 in 10 report being evicted from their homes due to gender identity, according to the National Center for Transgender Equality.

“We hope the report provides those working in the real estate industry and beyond with a greater understanding of how discrimination is keeping so many in the LGBTQ+ community from reaching their full potential and ultimately becoming homeowners,” said John Thorpe, president of the LGBTQ+ Real Estate Alliance.

Source: “How Discrimination Impacts the LGBTQ+ Community on the Journey to Homeownership and Beyond,” LGBTQ+ Real Estate Alliance (April 2021)

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