Tuesday, June 18, 2013

HUD releases same-sex housing discrimination study of the private rental market

Research seen as important first step in identifying possible patterns of discrimination in rental housing

According to HUD’s study, same-sex couples experience unequal treatment more often than heterosexual couples when responding to internet ads for rental units, and findings show that gay male couples experience more discrimination than lesbian couples.

Key findings of the study demonstrate that:
  • Same-sex couples experience discrimination in the online rental housing market, relative to heterosexual couples.
  • Adverse treatment is found primarily in the form of same-sex couples receiving fewer responses to the email inquiry than heterosexual couples.
  • States with legislative protections show slightly more adverse treatment for gays and lesbians than in states without protections.
  • Adverse treatment of same-sex couples is present in every metropolitan area where tests were conducted, but no clear-cut pattern exists in the magnitude of adverse treatment by metropolitan size. 
The Fair Housing Act makes it illegal to discriminate in rental, sales and lending on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability and familial status, however it does not include sexual orientation or gender identity as protected classes. Nonetheless, 20 states and the District of Columbia, and more than 150 cities, towns and counties across the nation have laws that specifically prohibit discrimination against LGBT individuals.
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