Last week, we talked about Minnesota’s gap in homeownership facing families of color. However, there are also challenges in finding safe, affordable housing for LGBTQ families in Minnesota.
Minnesota law explicitly prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. However, 20 U.S. states do not explicitly prohibit discrimination on these matters. This can make finding affordable housing for LGBTQ families more difficult.
LGTBQ adults are 15% more likely to be poor than cisgender straight adults. This creates means LGBTQ families will struggle more to find affordable housing, especially young people: “LGBT youth had a risk of homelessness 120 percent higher than heterosexual, cisgender youth” (Voices of Youth Count research).
These challenges show in the rates of LGBTQ homeownership: only 49% of LGBTQ families own homes, compared to the average rate of 71%. Basically, LGTBQ families and youth are more likely to struggle to find decent, affordable houses.
So how can we work to remedy these problems for families in our community and the country?
On a national level, all states need to implement policies and laws that prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
On a local level, we need more affordable, safe housing available for community members in need. Itasca County Habitat for Humanity partners with families to build stable, decent homes that help solve this problem. Each community needs more affordable, stable housing to address the inequity in housing for LGBTQ families.
March is Women's History Month, and we're taking a brief look back at the history of homeownership among women!
Women’s homeownership began in 1718, when an act was passed allowing women to manage their properties while their husbands were at war. Little progress was made until the 1880s. At that time, laws were abolished that had kept women from being equal in their marriage or from owning any property. Nearly 100 years later in 1968, the Fair Housing Act was passed. This law prohibited discrimination against homebuyers, renters, and owners based on sex, race, and other qualities. Since then, women’s homeownership has grown. From 1990 to 2019, women’s homeownership rates have increased 10%, according to the Urban Institute.
This month, celebrate all that the women in your home and community do - and the strides that have been made towards making homeownership more accessible.
Would you like to help make safe, affordable housing accessible in Itasca County? Donate to or volunteer with Habitat, or learn more about our New Home program.