National Homeownership Month
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.
The Knights of Columbus will host a community breakfast at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, May 22nd to benefit Itasca County Habitat for Humanity.
The Breakfast is open to the public, and the only cost is a free-will offering, the proceeds from which will support Habitat’s work to build safe, decent, affordable homes in Itasca County. All are welcome, and reservations are not required – those wishing to support Habitat can drop by at any time between 8:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.
“We’re grateful and humbled to have the support of the Knights of Columbus,” says Jamie Mjolsness, Habitat’s Executive Director. “Along with so many groups and individuals, they’re part of the village that makes our work possible.”
Breakfast attendees will also have the chance to leave their mark on a Habitat home by signing or writing a message on lumber that will be used to build a home later in the summer through Habitat’s Boards of Blessing program.
Habitat is also in need of volunteers to help set up, clean up, and serve breakfast items. Volunteer shifts run from 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and are open to volunteers of all ages. For more information or to sign up for a shift, visit itascahabitat.org/pancake-breakfast or call 218-999-9001.
For more information, contact Itasca County Habitat for Humanity at 218-999-9001 or visit itascahabitat.org.
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.