Giving Compass’ Take:
• The Urban Institute released a report that found that transgender and same-sex couples face more discrimination from rental housing agents than cisgender, heterosexual couples.
• How can rental agencies hold their agents accountable for bias and discriminatory practices?
• Read about the campaign called ‘Beyond I Do’ which addresses the persistent discrimination that LGBTQ individuals face after getting married.
A transgender woman asked a rental housing agent about an advertised rental unit, noting that she was transgender to explain the difference between her legal name and the name she uses. The agent cut the meeting short.
A gay man told another rental agent that he was married. Instead of quoting the lower application fee for married couples, the agent quoted him the price for both single and married renters and required proof of marriage for the lower fee—a step the agent did not require of a straight married man.
These are examples of differential treatment that transgender people and same-sex couples face, which we documented in our 2017 report, A Paired Testing Pilot Study of Housing Discrimination Against Same-Sex Couples and Transgender Individuals. This discrimination occurs even in places with laws prohibiting housing discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
In places with no such laws, LGBTQ people looking for housing have little or no legal recourse to combat discrimination.
Our analysis of 600 tests across the Dallas–Fort Worth and Los Angeles metropolitan areas found that housing agents were slightly less likely to schedule an appointment to discuss and view available housing with gay men posing as half of a same-sex couple compared with straight men posing as half of a heterosexual couple. The agents also told gay men about fewer available units and quoted gay men higher average yearly costs. Across another 600 tests, agents treated lesbians posing as half of a same-sex couple comparably with straight women posing as half of a heterosexual couple, but they were slightly less likely to tell lesbians about available units.
Read the full article about discrimination against LGBTQ people in housing rentals by Diane Levy at Urban Institute
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