The LGBTQ+ Real Estate Alliance has unveiled its first major report, “How Discrimination Affects the LGBTQ+ Community on the Journey to Homeownership and Beyond.” The 46-page paper utilizes research, data provided by Freddie Mac, a member survey and personal interviews to shed light on how challenges early in life impact financial security. An in-depth look at bullying and discrimination in high school, college and in the workplace, along with family acceptance, paint a picture of influences that shape LGBTQ+ lives and subsequent homeownership opportunities.
“We know that discrimination plays a role in LGBTQ+ homeownership rates and this report goes in-depth into how it does so,” said John Thorpe, president of the LGBTQ+ Real Estate Alliance. “So many in our community feel an added burden in their high school and college years, including a lack of family support, that can lead to reduced academic success, which in turn can impact earning potential and even lead to homelessness. We also look at how discrimination in the workforce and in the home buying process creates challenges. 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.”
For example, nearly 63% of LGBTQ+ Real Estate Alliance members who responded to a survey shared that bullying, discrimination and/or fear of discrimination in high school had a least some impact on their academic performance. Additionally, 40% of Alliance members reported that these same concerns in high school and/or college impacted their earning potential early in their career. Other important findings from the report include:
- Only 24% of LGBTQ+ youth can “definitely” be themselves in their household.
- Only 20.5% of surveyed LGBTQ+ Real Estate Alliance members who “came out” before 21 shared that their parents were extremely supportive.
- 13.4% of LGBTQ+ high school students who experienced frequent verbal harassment do not plan to attend college.
- 65.1% of LGBTQ+ undergraduate students report experiencing harassing behavior since enrolling in college.
- 47% of LGBTQ+ employees report that being “out” at work could damage their career.
- 32% of people of color within the LGBTQ+ community faced discrimination in the work hiring process compared to 20% of all LGBTQ+ people.
- The LGBTQ+ homeownership rate of 49.8% is far below the U.S. average of 65.8%
- Surveyed LGBTQ+ Real Estate Alliance members reported a variety of ways housing discrimination occurred:
- 13.8% report they signed legal forms (i.e., mortgage, purchase agreement, title, etc.) that did not adequately represent their life experience.
- 10.6% experienced a real estate professional discriminating against them in the renting/home buying process.
- 89.3% of surveyed Alliance members said that they find it at least somewhat important to live in an LGBTQ+ friendly community.
- 54.2% of surveyed Alliance members report feeling concerned about facing discrimination if they eventually need to live in a senior housing facility. This number jumps to 71.8% for those ages 55-64.
Surveyed Alliance members believe the Biden administration will also be a positive force as 69.6% of respondents sharing President Joe Biden’s policies will have a positive impact on LGBTQ+ homeownership rates.
And in other positive developments, the report also finds that societal acceptance of the LGBTQ+ community is apparently allowing more people to be their authentic selves: 15.9% of Gen Z report they are part of the community followed by 9.1% of Millennials. Only 2% of Baby Boomers identify as LGBTQ+.
The report utilized research from such prominent outlets at the National Association of Realtors®, the Human Rights Campaign, GLAAD, Gallup, Freddie Mac, UCLA’s Williams Institute, Glassdoor, SAGE and the University of Chicago. Nearly 100 members of the LGBTQ+ Alliance participated in the survey. Alliance members Gene Brake, Shenice Brown, Caitlin Jones, Christopher Matos-Rogers and Jason Scott provide commentary throughout the report.