At Esusu, everyone deserves financial security and a place to call home, regardless of race, gender, or sexual orientation. Unfortunately, despite the significant progress in establishing LGBTQ+ rights in the past decades, LGBTQ+ renters still face structural and social barriers to obtaining financial well-being and housing stability.
This Pride Month, we want to highlight some common barriers faced by LGBTQ+ renters and how the real estate community can help.
Barriers for LGBTQ+ renters can begin as early as the home search process. Studies show that LGBTQ+ renters are more likely to pay application fees than their cisgender heterosexual (cis-hetero) counterparts. They are also likely to submit more applications before securing a rental home. With application fees averaging $30 per renter, these costs can quickly add up and place LGBTQ+ renters at a financial disadvantage.
As of 2021, the Fair Housing Act has recognized discrimination based on gender or sexual orientation as sex-based discrimination, giving much-needed federal protection to LGBTQ+ renters. However, LGBTQ+ folks still report housing discrimination, with 1 in 5 transgender individuals reporting some form of discrimination.
However, several organizations are doing vital work to advance LGBTQ+ housing rights and protections, like The LGBTQ+ Real Estate Alliance, The National Association of Gay & Lesbian Real Estate Professionals, and SAGE. If you’re an LGBTQ+ person needing housing assistance or an ally looking for ways to help, these organizations are a great place to start.
LGBTQ+ individuals are twice as likely to have a poor credit score than their cis-hetero peers. Many factors, like job loss and housing instability, can lead to sharp drops in credit and financial insecurity. LGBTQ+ youth also report higher rates of family rejection, which can bar them from traditional credit-building activities, like having a parent co-sign a loan or add them as an authorized credit card user.
Trans and non-binary people may have extra hurdles when building credit, as some have reported credit history splitting after a name change or deadnames (the names trans and non-binary people are known as before their transition) never leaving their credit report. This can lead to an incomplete credit history that impacts the ability and rates at which trans and non-binary people can borrow.
Missed Rent and Evictions:
Renters in Esusu properties can apply for rent relief during financial hardship. This 0% interest loan can help US-based renters who reside in an enrolled property cover 1-3 months of rent payments to get back on their feet and avoid eviction.
Financial hardship can happen to anyone, and when a person is already facing discrimination for their gender or sexual orientation, the effects can be dire.
In 2021, LGBTQ+ people were more likely to be behind on rent, unsure how to pay their rent, and facing high eviction rates. Additionally, LGBTQ+ folks are more likely to live in poverty than their cis-hetero peers, and LGBTQ+ youth are twice as likely to experience homelessness, with nearly 40% of unhoused youth identifying as LGBTQ+.
Organizations like Covenant House, National Coalition for the Homeless, and True Colors United are making great strides to combat homelessness in the LGBTQ+ community and advance the work of housing equality. Get in touch with these organizations to learn more about their work and what you can do to help.
Structural and social barriers may remain for the LGBTQ+ community. Still, organizations like the ones mentioned above are doing incredible work to achieve equality in housing and all walks of life.
We at Esusu are proud to provide paths for our LGBTQ+ neighbors to achieve financial security and housing stability. Our Renters Marketplace offers financial and rental resources to help you save money and easily find assistance.
Follow us on Instagram to keep up with the latest renters’ news and learn more about how we’re celebrating Pride Month!