LGBT Home Ownership And Mortgages On The Rise Since Marriage Equality

Many gay couples previously cited a fear of discrimination as their reason for not buying a home.

The LGBT community has become more interested in homeownership, according to a 2017 survey by the National Association of Gay and Lesbian Real Estate Professionals, and the legalization of same-sex marriage played a role in the rising numbers.

The Mortgage Reports says that prior to marriage equality, many LGBT couples feared discrimination, and for good reason. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) released the results of a 2013 study that found straight couples received responses to their rental property applications far more often than gay couples did.

The study also found that potential LGBT homeowners experienced worse treatment in states that had laws against anti-LGBT discrimination than those that didn't offer protections for gay people at all.

Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP/Getty Images

Mortgages provided by the government have attempted to protect LGBT buyers before the Supreme Court's marriage equality decision from 2015, however. HUD had a rule since 2012 that ensured its programs were open to "all eligible individuals and families regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, or marital status."

Going through a private lender increases chances of discrimination because The Fair Housing Act only protects people based on race, sex and religion, and doesn't specifically cover sexual orientation.

Even still, HUD's Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity provides support for anyone who feels they may be facing discrimination, making home ownership a more viable option for LGBT couples than ever before.