3 Great Resources for Los Angeles LGBT Homebuyers
From Redfin, written by Chad Pluid on June 8, 2015
Finding a home in LA can be a complicated process, and unfortunately – as one U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development study has shown – lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender (LGBT) people can face discrimination along the way.
Currently 21 states and the District of Columbia prohibit housing discrimination based on sexual orientation, and 17 of those prohibit discrimination based on gender identity. But even if you’re not in one of those states, there are protections granted to you under the Fair Housing Act and other federal mandates. Below are links to a few great websites that provide more information for LGBT homebuyers.
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) is an excellent resource for information on housing for LGBT people. On this page you can find information on the following topics:
- Deciding Who Should Take the Mortgage Tax Deduction
- Transfer Taxes When Adding One of You to a Title
- Tips for Minimizing Estate Taxes
- Joint Tenancy with Right of Survivorship
- Estate Planning
- Discrimination in Housing
The site also has interactive state maps, including one on statewide housing laws and policies, where you can find out which states prohibit housing discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
The federal Fair Housing Act prohibits housing discrimination based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability, and familial status, but it does not specifically include sexual orientation and gender identity as prohibited bases. However, an LGBT person’s experience with housing discrimination may still be covered by the Fair Housing Act. This website provides examples of situations that would violate the Act, and provides a link to the full text of the 2012 rule dictating equal access to housing in HUD programs regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. The site also offers the ability to file a housing discrimination complaint online.
As of Sept. 4, 2013, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is no longer denying marital benefit claims because a “spouse” or a “surviving spouse” is not a person of the opposite sex. This protection extends to VA loans; previously, if a veteran obtained a loan with anyone other than his or her opposite-sex spouse, VA could only guarantee the veteran’s portion of the loan. But now, VA will review applications for the home loan guaranty benefit submitted by married same-sex couples. Additional information is available in this circular, published by Benefits.va.gov. Life insurance benefits granted by the VA are now also offered to same-sex spouses.