Asked whether they had ever been discriminated against when applying for a rental lease or buying a home, 17% of respondents confirmed they had been discriminated against, 12% were unsure but suspected discrimination and 71% had not experienced it.
Discrimination was even more pronounced in the transgender community, the survey found, with 44% having experienced or suspected discrimination. Fifty-two percent of respondents said this discrimination took place in the last five years.
Of those who had experienced discrimination, 68% said it was because of their sexual orientation, 33% ascribed it to their race or ethnicity and 25% said it was because of their gender or gender identity. Some respondents reported that they had experienced multiple forms of discrimination.
“Discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community in housing is real, but we know the fear of discrimination is even greater,” Ryan Weyandt, chief executive of the LGBTQ+ Real Estate Alliance, said in a statement. “Our community already must place an outsized emphasis in identifying safe and accepting communities. Discrimination and the fear of it is another burden.”
Weyandt noted out that the Fair Housing Act, which was passed in 1968, still not does protect Americans from discrimination against sexual orientation and gender identity.
Community Marketing & Insights conducted an online survey in May among 1,538 adult LGBTQ community members in the U.S.
According to the survey, 49% of respondents own their primary residence, compared with 66% of the general population. This number was even lower in several subgroups of respondents: transgender, 35%; Black, 29%; and Latino, 41%.
Survey results showed that 27% of respondents live in big cities, 22% in medium-sized cities, 13% in small ones, 25% in the suburbs and 13% in small towns and rural areas.
Transgender and non-binary community members are the least likely to live in big cities, making non-discrimination legal protections at the state and national level even more important, Realtor.com said.
Seventy percent of survey takers said their city or town is somewhat to very LGBTQ friendly — however, Realtor.com pointed out that there is likely to be self-selection of inclusive areas.
When asked what type of environments respondents would consider moving to in the next 10 years, city life remained popular, with 50% favoring medium-sized cities and 40% big cities. Some in the community were also interested in the suburbs, small towns and rural areas.
When city dwellers were asked whether anything was holding them back from moving or living in the suburbs, small towns or rural areas, they cited, in order, a lack of culture and entertainment in these less urban areas, lack of racial and ethnic diversity and acceptance, and a preference to be in communities with larger numbers or visible LGBTQ community members.
On the flip side, all survey respondents said the most appealing attributes of these areas are lower cost of living rose, followed by outdoor space and larger yards, and better overall quality of life.
Acceptance Is Key
Regardless of location, acceptance is a key factor for respondents when it comes to deciding where to buy a home, Realtor.com said. Fifty-five percent of respondents said they would not buy a home if they had doubts about whether they would be accepted, 32% said they were unsure what they would do and only 12% said they would proceed with the purchase.
What would make a LGBTQ member feel welcome? No. 1: the people in the neighborhood. Seventy-six percent of respondents said neighbors who seem friendly, open, and accepting of LGBTQ neighbors would help make them feel welcome.
No. 2: a neighborhood or town that is racially and ethnically diverse. No. 3: local anti-discrimination laws that specifically include sexual orientation and/or gender identity as protected groups.