Proud homeowners: Do LGBTQ+ communities struggle more with mortgages?
June is Pride month - a time to recognise the amazing progress our society has made in the acceptance and celebration of LGBTQ+ people. But it’s important not to gloss over the discrimination that still exists and steps that need to be made.
At Haysto, we know that a home is more than just a roof over your head. It’s a place to feel safe, and somewhere to be completely yourself. According to Albert Kennedy Trust, almost one in four young homeless people identifies as LGBTQ+, and 77% of LGBTQ+ youth homelessness is caused by family rejection, abuse, or being asked to leave home. A Stonewall Research respondent said “I get shouted at every single time I leave my house and threatened at least once a week.”
Although getting onto the housing ladder is important for all of us, it’s even more important for those who have unfairly faced rejection and are at risk not owning a home.
So why does it still feel more difficult to get a mortgage and own a home as an LGBTQ+ person?
What issues still exist with LGBTQ+ people buying a home?
We’ve made great progress as a society in relation to LGBTQ+ rights. But there’s still a long way to go. The difficulties LGBTQ+ people might face when buying a home can start way before the mortgage process. As we’re all aware, the biggest hurdle when getting onto the housing ladder is usually saving for the dreaded deposit.
Even though this is difficult for everyone, LGBTQ+ people face income disparities, and a wage gap still exists in the UK. LGBTQ+ people take home on average £6,703 less per year than their straight colleagues. Lower wages mean it’s harder to save, and harder to make that step up to own a home.
A sad truth is that some members of the LGBTQ+ community also face discrimination when buying a home because of prejudice throughout the process such as estate agents, solicitors, or in the case of renting, social housing.
Stonewall Research from 2018 found that one in four of trans people were discriminated against when looking for a home to rent or buy in the last year. One in five non-binary people have also experienced discrimination while looking for a new home. Examples of this came to light earlier this year, with a gay couple in London being refused a viewing and a chance to buy a house because of their sexuality, and a couple being rejected by Halifax for their non-binary pronouns.
What can we do to help?
We speak to people everyday who face rejection, so we treat every case with sensitivity. We’re humans, not robots, and we’ll always try to understand the story behind the numbers. We’re here for the individuals and the mavericks - the ones who don’t fit the mould.
Lester Blaking, one of Haysto’s Mortgage Experts, says:
"We see a lot of people in same sex relationships hesitate to talk about their partner, avoiding any words which might suggest their sexuality (i.e. boyfriend/wife). When me and my now-husband got a mortgage a few years ago, we were surprised at how comfortable the process felt. We’d been quite worried beforehand, but glad we got help as it made things a lot easier.
There may be people out there who are keen to buy, but find the idea of discussing their lives with a broker too daunting - instead choosing to muddle through on their own. This makes things much harder than it needs to be, and so we aim to create a safe space at Haysto."
Stonewall offers advice for anyone in the LGBTQ+ community, so they’re a great team to get in touch with if you’re struggling.
For everything else mortgages, your Haysto Mortgage Expert will be by your side, acting as your champion, and helping you every step of the way.
WE MAKE MORTGAGES POSSIBLE
Our Mortgage Experts are fully-qualified with experience in bad credit, self-employed and complex mortgages. They have a proven track record of getting mortgages for people who’ve been rejected elsewhere.