Honoring Pride Month by Ending LGBTQ+ Housing Disparities

Caraline Feairheller
June 14, 2021

The month of June marks the beginning of Pride Month. First celebrated in 1970 as a commemoration of the 1969 Stonewall Uprising, the month is both a celebration of LGBTQ+ individuals and the LGBTQ+ community and a recognition of the violence faced by LGBTQ+ communities throughout history – violence that continues to this day. This Pride Month, we call on the Biden administration and Congress to pass federal policies that bring justice and equality for the LGBTQ+ community in the United States.

LGBTQ+ people face multi-faceted and intersecting forms of stigma and discrimination across their lifetime. The inequities faced by LGBTQ+ communities do not only take the form of physical violence but often also stem from discriminatory policies, including our country’s unjust lack of affordable housing. Access to safe, stable, affordable housing is a human right. However, the rising costs of housing paired with the legacy of anti-LGBTQ+ discrimination in housing continues to threaten the physical and mental health of LGBTQ+ people in the United States. Today, LGBTQ+ people experience higher rates of poverty and lower raters of homeownership compared to non-LGBTQ+ people. The lack of explicit legal protections has led to one in five transgender and non-binary people facing housing discrimination and nearly one in ten having been evicted.

It is critical that the Biden administration and Congress support housing policies that honor the dignity of each person and ensure all have access to safe and affordable housing. In order to build anew and cultivate an inclusive community, anti-LGBTQ+ housing discrimination policies and practices must end. In particular, these federal policies must extend protections for Black trans women who face an epidemic of violence and immoral rates of discrimination because at the intersection of racism, transphobia, and sexism. While there is still much work to do, President Biden’s American Jobs Plan is a necessary start to reshape our country’s housing.

The American Jobs Plan would allocate $213 billion to build, preserve, and retrofit 2 million homes by:

  • Creating public housing and addressing capital needs following years of disinvestment in our public housing ($40 billion)
  • Instituting Neighborhood Homes Investment Act tax credits for low- and middle-income homebuyers to build or rehabilitate 500,000 homes in underserved communities ($20 billion)
  • Developing 1 million affordable, resilient, accessible, energy-efficient, and electrified housing units in underserved communities nationwide, including rural and tribal areas ($126 billion)

In addition to the programs and funding included in the American Jobs Plan, NETWORK calls on Congress to increase funding for public housing in order to adequately meet the needs of our country’s families and provide housing vouchers to all who qualify by creating a universal housing voucher program.

Along with increased investments in housing, the Senate should pass the Equality Act (H.R.5), which would amend the 1964 Civil Rights Act to explicitly prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in housing as well as other areas.

Housing is a basic human right and the foundation for a person’s ability to meet their needs and achieve their God-given purpose. Justice demands that every member of our human family is protected from discrimination; Congress must allocate funding and pass policies that protect the rights of all LGBTQ+ individuals.

Stay engaged and find more ways to take action to advance policies that build our systems and structures anew at www.networklobby.org/ActNow.