HUD Conducts National Same-Sex Housing Discrimination Study

Row of houses

Elliott Brown/Flickr

Same-sex couples experience discrimination more often than heterosexual couples when responding to internet ads for apartment rentals, according to the newly released findings of a study conducted by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD.)
The study, announced June 18, also found that gay male couples experience more discrimination than lesbian couples.
“A person’s sexual orientation should or gender identity should not be a reason to receive unfavorable treatment when searching for housing,” said Bryan Green, HUD Acting Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity.
The study, conducted in 2011, was based on nearly 7,000 email tests organized throughout 50 different metropolitan housing markets. For each paired test, two emails were sent to the landlord regarding the apartment for rent. The only difference between the two emails was whether the couple seeking to rent was same-sex or heterosexual. Same-sex couples more often received unfavorable responses such as being told the apartment was unavailable than heterosexual couples.
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 the federal law does not include sexual orientation or gender identity as protected classes. Still, HUD issued a final rule in early 2012, requiring HUD-funded and HUD-insured housing providers and FHA-approved lenders to provide equal access without regard to sexual orientation, gender identity, and marital status. And many cities and states that have laws prohibiting the discrimination of LGBTQ couples.
The HUD study concluded that adverse treatment of same-sex couples is present in every metropolitan area where tests were conducted.”

Issues |Housing

information about New Signature, a Washington DC tech solutions and consulting firm


email updates

We believe ending homelessness begins with listening to the stories of those who have experienced it.