Same-Sex Couples Face Significant Housing Discrimination

Well that’s no surprise, really. I can only hope that when the time comes for my girlfriend and I to get an apartment or whatever we decide on, that we don’t face problems like this.

WASHINGTON — Same-sex couples face significant levels of discrimination in the rental housing market, according to a landmark government study released on Tuesday.

The new survey by the Department of Housing and Urban Development is the first-ever study examining housing discrimination against same-sex couples at the national level.

HUD found that same-sex couples were “significantly less likely than heterosexual couples to get favorable responses to e-mail inquiries about electronically advertised rental housing.” In fact, heterosexual couples were favored over gay male couples in 15.9 percent of the tests, and over lesbian couples in 15.6 percent.

The survey is based on 6,833 email correspondences in 50 metropolitan markets from June to October 2011. Testers would send two emails to the landlord, each asking about the availability of a rental unit advertised online. The only difference between the two was in the sexual orientation of the interested couple.

HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan announced the findings on Friday during an event at the agency for HUD GLOBE, the association for federal LGBT employees. In his remarks, he told a story illustrating the different treatment that heterosexual and same-sex couples were given by some rental agents.

Full story