Homeownership and Workplace Issues Faced by the LGBTQ Community
Recognizing the need for the mortgage industry to conduct further outreach to the LGBTQ community for the purpose of educating on current opportunities for homeownership and being educated on emerging issues and concerns, the American Mortgage Diversity Council (AMDC) conducted a series of four discussions in strategically selected locations across the country. The “Town Hall” meetings were convened in Dallas, Texas; Chicago, Illinois; Miami, Florida; and Los Angeles, California, between December of 2017 and June of 2018. Each meeting was attended by approximately ten mortgage industry executives and approximately 10 senior leaders from local advocacy organizations provide services for the LGBTQ communities within their respective communities. These discussions provided an opportunity for these leaders to have a frank discussion in an open setting regarding issues affecting the LGBTQ community, both from a
homeownership and workplace inclusion perspective.
What follows is a discussion of the concerns that were brought to light within the series of meetings and proposed remedial measures addressing the current issues.
EQUAL HOUSING FOR ALL:
REIMAGINING FAIR HOUSING IN THE 21st CENTURY
In April of 2018, our nation commemorated 50 years since the passage of the Fair Housing Act of 1968. The legislation, passed just one week following the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, was produced to answer the call of its time, preventing discrimination and ensuring equal access in the sale or rental of housing nationwide. Though the struggle was long, and many battles were yet to be fought in the name of equal rights, for the first time in human history, the Fair Housing Act represented a nation’s government affirmatively declaring that access to housing is a basic human right, applicable regardless of race, sex, or national origin.
Now 50 years later, our nation must rise to confront a new challenge: the systematic spread of housing discrimination against members of the LGBTQ community. The residential mortgage industry is committed to ensuring that discrimination has no place within the landscape of American housing. To that end, the American Mortgage Diversity Council is working to ensure that members of the community have their concerns heard and that their right to fair housing is preserved.
There are those that argue that housing equity can only be achieved through lengthy court battles fought district-by-district and circuit-by-circuit. We reject this notion because it subjects the rights of the citizenry, to the possibility of disparate administration of justice determined solely by geography. To the contrary, if real and lasting change is to be achieved, it must be done through federal legislative means. The Fair Housing Act must be amended.