It seems hard to believe but there are still scores of states in the U.S. where you can be denied housing because you are gay. There are a handful of states in America that have laws protecting individuals from being denied housing based on their sexual orientation, but a lot of progress still needs to be made in order to address the bigotry and profiling that can affect a gay individual’s choice on where to live.
The National Fair Housing Alliance has recently addressed this matter in a report in that can be accessed online at: www.nationalfairhousing.org. This report was released on April 11, 2013 and is meant to educate and enlighten the community at large about the huge problem with housing discrimination against the LGBT community.
The National Fair Housing Alliance is a powerful consortium of over 220 private and non-profit fair housing organizations, and state and civil rights agencies from all over the United States. The organization, which has been around since 1988, helps make sure that the LGBT community has equal access to apartments, houses, mortgages and insurance policies.
Recently, Rea Carey, the Executive Director for the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, testified before congress that LGBT people “may experience outright hostility…may be subject to violence or property damage” during their search for housing. This is one reason why it is so important to ensure you are working with an LGBT/LGBT friendly realtor when you are looking for a home in any city. This can help prevent you from landing in a community where you may feel unwelcome, or worse. Additionally, the FBI has reported an increase in hate-crimes based on sexual orientation in the last three years. In 2012, National Fair Housing reported 175 complaints of housing discrimination based on sexual orientation and another 45 based on gender identity.
The report also includes some real life examples of how gay couples can be turned down for housing by banks or condominium boards and how often a reason will be “made up” to cover up for the prejudice or bigotry against LGBT individuals. There are also accounts of what can happen if you accidentally buy into a hostile neighborhood.
The sad fact is there are real estate agents that will say anything to get a home sold, including saying that a neighborhood is gay friendly, when it may be actually quite hostile to the LGBT lifestyle or gay couples. The result can be name-calling, damage to the property and violence, resulting in your need for an appeal to state and federal human rights commissions to set things right.
The states that do protect against housing discrimination based on sexual orientation include; California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin and the District of Columbia.
No matter what state or city you’re considering buying a home in, it’s always a great idea to have the free representation of a Top LGBT / LGBT Friendly Realtor. Make your relocation safe and with peace of mind using the Nation’s Oldest and Largest Free database of LGBT Realtors, www.GayRealEstate.com.