Affordable Housing, Community Development, Reports and Publications

Same-Sex Couples Face Housing Discrimination

U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development Office of Policy Development and Research
 

In the first study of its kind, the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development found that same-sex couples are discriminated against in the rental housing market.  An Estimate of Housing Discrimination Against Same-Sex Couples found that same-sex couples were routinely discriminated against based on 6,833 e-mail correspondence tests conducted in 50 metropolitan markets across the United States from June through October 2011.

Heterosexual couples were favored over gay couples in 15.9% of the tests and were favored over lesbian couples in 15.6% of the tests. Each test was conducted by sending two e-mails in response to a rental ad where the only difference was the sexual orientation of the couple making the inquiry. The primary form of discrimination was a lower response rate for same-sex couples than heterosexual couples.

Ironically, states with laws protecting the rights of same-sex couples had a higher rate of discrimination than those without protections. In those states, heterosexual couples were favored over gay couples in 16% of the tests and were favored over lesbian couples in 15.9% of the tests. States without protects for same-sex couples saw heterosexual couples favored over gay couples in 15.4% of the tests and were favored over lesbian couples in 15.3% of the tests.

This study is an important step to documenting the housing discrimination that takes place based on sexual orientation. It is a stepping stone to realizing that even with legislation in place to protect the housing rights of same-sex couples, more needs to be done to ensure housing equality for all.

Click here to read the full report.  

 
 

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