The prevention of housing discrimination has come a long way, but it still has far to go. According to History.com, The Fair Housing Act of 1968 prohibits discrimination in the sale, rental and financing of housing based on race, religion, national origin, sex, familial status and disabilities. Since 2009, the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) has supported extending fair housing protections to sexual orientation and gender identification.
In May 2019, the historic Equality Act passed in the U.S. House of Representatives but has yet to pass the Senate. The bill is strongly supported by the real estate industry, including the NAR, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and numerous real estate franchise associations. It’s meant to ban discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community “in housing, credit, employment, education, public spaces and services, federally funded programs, and jury service,” explains NAGLREP.com, the National Association of Gay & Lesbian Real Estate Professionals.
The organization says that discrimination is a major reason why LGBTQ+ homeownership rates are at 49 percent compared to the national average of 65 percent. Despite the Supreme Court’s ruling in 2015 that struck down all state bans on same-sex marriage, many LGBTQ+ singles and couples and those with children continue to fear discrimination (73%). Meanwhile, many states have stepped in with laws to prohibit housing discrimination based on sexual orientation and/or gender identity.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices joins the LGBTQ+ community in celebrating June Pride Month and pledges its continuing support to help end housing discrimination in all its forms.