Legislation is making headway in the fight for equality but at a rather dawdling pace. It wasn’t until June 15, 2020, that the Supreme Court ruled that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act that protects against sex discrimination in the workplace would also apply to gay, lesbian, and transgender workers.
So how are home buying rights affected?
In the renting world, affordable housing is difficult to come by- even in areas with laws prohibiting housing discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Average home values in areas with legal protections are about $127,000 higher than home values in areas without protective laws.
Since the Supreme Court ruling on marriage equality in 2015, the housing market has seen an increase in both interest and demand for residential real estate from LGBTQ couples who are looking to plant roots.
When it comes to homebuying, records show that an astonishing 73% of same-sex couples applying for mortgages are denied.
It is important for everyone, especially those who identify within the LGBTQ community, to know their rights. Be aware that federal fair housing laws prohibit housing discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, familial status, and disability.
According to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), it is prohibited under the Fair Housing Act for any landlord or housing provider to discriminate against LGBTQ persons because of their real or perceived gender identity, or any other reason that constitutes sex-based discrimination.
For example, an underwriter for an FHA-insured lender may not reject the application of a gay couple who exhibits creditworthiness. In addition, private lenders involved with the USDA mortgage loan program for homebuyers in rural communities, as well as the Department of Veterans Affairs home loan program, are also specifically prohibited from discriminating against members of the LGBTQ community.
HUD suggests that LGBTQ consumers who believe they have been subject to housing discrimination contact HUD’s Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. They may also file a housing discrimination complaint online, or contact their state or local human rights agency to determine coverage under state or local laws.
At Bluefire Mortgage, we guarantee a fair and equal process for every single one of our clients. We will go above and beyond to make sure you get the best rate and have an excellent experience regardless of your identity.
If you have any mortgage-related questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to one of our mortgage loan specialists who can assist in answering your questions at (760) 930-0569.