LGBTQ+ Buyers, Renters Face Disproportionate Housing Challenges

June 30, 2020
Couple looks over paperwork together
By weedezign

According to Zillow’s analysis of data from 2019 to 2020, LGBTQ+ people face disproportionate challenges in finding an affordable home and a higher chance of paying extra rental costs. In previous Zillow research, the company found housing discrimination-protected LGBTQ+ people can pay up to $127,000 more than other buyers. This may explain, in part, why LGBTQ+ homebuyers look for more affordable housing with 32% purchasing a townhouse, rowhouse, duplex, or triplex. Comparatively, only 17% of cisgender, heterosexual buyers purchase those types of housing.

But it can sometimes be difficult for buyers to find these types of homes, often because of restrictive zoning that prohibits their development and/or can make it very difficult for builders to construct this type of housing. Considering policies that can boost the availability and accessibility of these more-affordable home types could make homeownership more accessible to LGBTQ+ buyers and LGBTQ+ buyers of color.

Of course, finding a home they want to buy and can afford is only the first step — most LGBTQ+ buyers must then secure a mortgage, presenting another challenge. A third (33%) of LGBTQ+ buyers that take out a mortgage are denied at least once before ultimately getting approved, compared to 19% of cisgender heterosexual buyers with a mortgage. And again, for LGBTQ+ buyers of color the process can be even more challenging: (42%) of LGBTQ+ buyers of color are denied at least once before being approved for a mortgage.

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