Homeownership rates for LGBT Americans are 16 percent below the national average, according to a survey released by the National Association of Gay & Lesbian Real Estate Professionals (NAGLREP)–and the fear of discrimination is the primary reason for this low number.
A survey of more than 640 NAGLREP members found that 44 percent of respondents believed potential LGBT homebuyers were apprehensive over how they would be welcomed in a new community, while 40 percent said LGBT buyers would be overly concerned with neighbor and community reaction if they were to have children. Twenty-seven percent of respondents said they believed LGBT buyers would “settle” for a home without fully exploring other choices and 24 percent stated the fear of discrimination would deter LGBT renters from buying a home.
The Fair Housing Act was never amended to include sexual orientation as a protected class.
NAGLREP members are bullish on the future of the Equality Act. Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI) recently reintroduced The Equality Act, a proposed legislation that would prohibit housing discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, and 62 percent of survey respondents said they believed federal protection would be extended within four years. And, when it passes, 47 percent of members believed LGBT housing rates will increase by five percent or more.
“The survey is the first time we have explored how the potential of housing discrimination impacts on LGBT homeownership rates and the timing of the report could not be better,” NAGLREP founder Jeff Berger said. “The Equality Act, which would protect LGBTs from discrimination in a variety of areas, including housing, was just re-introduced in Congress and we will leverage our LGBT Housing Policy Summit to learn where things stand and how we can further educate the real estate industry at the local and state level.”
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