It costs more to live in cities with LGBTQ+ protections: Redfin 

Homebuyers in states with LGBTQ+ protections face significantly higher housing costs, according to a Redfin report released Wednesday.

In regions with anti-discrimination laws tied to sexual orientation or gender identity, the income required to afford a median-priced home rises to $150,364 — nearly 47% more than the $102,435 needed in areas without such protections. For context, the median U.S. household income was $79,689 in 2023.

Non-discrimination laws in housing protect LGBTQ+ individuals from unfair eviction, denial of housing, or obstacles to renting or buying due to their sexual orientation or gender identity. LGBTQ+ people in states without explicit protections are still covered under the federal Fair Housing Act.

“LGBTQ+ Americans face disproportionately large barriers to homeownership,” Redfin senior economist Elijah de la Campa said in a statement. “On top of paying a premium to live somewhere that feels safe, many LGBTQ+ house hunters are earning less than the typical U.S. worker, and face discrimination while shopping for homes despite laws that prohibit it.”

In metros with large  LGBTQ+ populations, affordable home listings are scarce. San Francisco, where 6.7% of adults identify as LGBTQ+, had only 5.1% of its 2023 listings affordable on the local median income, one of the nation’s lowest shares. 

Portland, Oregon, with the second-highest share of LGBTQ+ adults at 6%, had only 6.7% of homes for sale deemed affordable. Similar trends were noted in Austin, Seattle and Los Angeles. 

Conversely, metros with fewer LGBTQ+ residents registered more affordable prices. In Pittsburgh, where 3.3% of the adult population identifies as LGBTQ+, more than half (57.4%) of listings were affordable for median-income earners.

Of the 54 metros analyzed by Redfin, 30 are in states with LGBTQ+ protections. The most affordable locations are in the Northeast and Midwest, with Detroit and Rochester, New York, standing out as particularly accessible.

A Redfin-commissioned survey by Qualtrics in February 2024 found that 56.5% of LGBTQ+ homeowners and renters struggle with housing payments, compared to 49.9% of the general population. 

Additionally, 24.5% of LGBTQ+ respondents who struggle with housing costs reported borrowing money from family or friends, compared to 17% of non-LGBTQ+ respondents. LGBTQ+ individuals are also nearly three times more likely to delay or forgo having children to manage housing expenses, Redfin reported.

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