Real Estate Hub

Same-Sex Housing Discrimination A Reality According To New Federal Study

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) released the results of the first ever study on same-sex housing discrimination today. They are unsettling to say the least:

RainbowThe study, An Estimate of Housing Discrimination Against Same-Sex Couples, measures the treatment same-sex couples receive from rental agents when inquiring about apartments advertised online, as compared to how otherwise similar heterosexual couples are treated.

According to HUD’s study, same-sex couples experience unequal treatment more often than heterosexual couples when responding to internet ads for rental units, and findings show that gay male couples experience more discrimination than lesbian couples.  

HUD remains committed to providing equal access to housing for all individuals under United States law. Though The Fair Housing Act does not include sexual orientation or gender identity under its umbrella of identified protectorates, twenty states, along with the District of Columbia, have laws reinforcing the protected status of LGBT individuals.

Prior to the housing discrimination study, HUD already recognized the need for such protections to extend across the country.  

Recently, HUD issued new guidance that treats discrimination based on gender nonconformity or sex stereotyping as sex discrimination under the Fair Housing Act, and instructs HUD staff to inform individuals filing complaints about state and local agencies that have LGBT-inclusive nondiscrimination laws. In addition, on February 3, 2012, HUD published a final rule, “Equal Access to Housing in HUD Programs Regardless of Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity”, which requires HUD-funded and HUD-insured housing providers and FHA-approved lenders to provide equal access without regard to sexual orientation, gender identity, and marital status. 

What this study's results, and the steps already taken will mean for same-sex couples in the housing market remains to be seen. 

High-End Male Strip Club Planned for SF Castro's Iconic 'Bank of America' Building


(image flickr jamison wieser)

The iconic Bank of America building at the corner of Castro and Market in San Francisco may soon have a new tenant: The Randy Rooster SF, a 'gay gentlemen's supper and burlesque club', the San Francisco Chronicle reports:

“From what they presented to me, it appears to be a go-go dancing, semi-strip club,” said Terry Asten Bennett with the Merchants of Upper Market and Castro association.

“It’s not going to be nude, but potentially they will be stripping down to thongs,” said Randy Rooster co-owner Daniella Reichstetter. But unlike other strip clubs, she said, patrons won’t be stuffing dollar bills into the thongs. Reichstetter said the owners want the club to be classy, clean and represent everything gay in San Francisco — complete with beautiful cocktails and dinners with “local sustainable-source fare.”

Patrons will also be given a menu of local charities to which a portion of their cover charge will be donated.

Toronto-Area RE/MAX Real Estate Agent Fired for Distribution of Homophobic Flyer

(image missassauga news)

Last week I posted about Andrew Ciastek, a RE/MAX Real Estate agent in the Toronto-area city of Mississauga who was under fire for distributing sales brochures which included an article promoting "traditional families" as the best for the future of children.

RE/MAX has fired Ciastek, XTRA reports:

Andrew Ciastek was terminated for “poor judgment on his personal marketing,” according to Christine Martysiewicz, director of internal and public relations for RE/MAX Ontario-Atlantic Canada.
“We assure the general public that his actions in no way reflect RE/MAX or our associates. We're offended by the insensitivity shown here just as much as the community is. We take pride in the diversity of our workforce and our clients,” Martysiewicz says...

...Ciastek was not immediately available for comment. In an interview before the termination was announced, he told the Toronto Star he realized people are “hurt” by the flyer and promised to apologize.

Toronto-Area RE/MAX Real Estate Agent Distributes Homophobic Flyer Promoting 'Traditional' Families


A RE/MAX Real Estate agent in the Toronto-area city of Mississauga is under fire for distributing sales brochures which included an article promoting "traditional families" as the best for the future of children, the Mississauga News reports:

The piece in question is a study conducted by a sociology professor from Texas University that says unemployment is three times higher among offspring of homosexual couples than those of heterosexual couples. The brochure cites the report as having been originally published in Social Research Science.

Lorne Park resident Jon McDonald, a retired elementary school teacher, was outraged by the material and sees no reason for such information to be printed in a real estate brochure.

"It just makes no sense whatsoever," McDonald told The News. "On the inside is information on how to maintain your air conditioner, how to save money, what you should know about air conditioners, all things you need to know if you're looking to purchase a home. The back (of the brochure) just seems so incongruous and offensive."

The Toronto Star adds:

Const. George Tudos said the Criminal Investigation Bureau looked into the incident and spoke to Ciastek about the impact of the literature. No charges will be laid, he said.

Christine Martysiewicz, director of internal and public relations for RE/MAX Ontario-Atlantic Canada, said “the views and opinions expressed in this piece do not reflect those of RE/MAX Ontario-Atlantic Canada or our agents.”

She said Ciastek will issue a public apology and make a donation to a local charity of the company’s choosing.

Australian Realtor Gets His Properties Hot in a Speedo: VIDEO


Australian LGBT site Same Same points us to this video of Australian real estate agent Kieren Gray, who's having some success with a sales technique that's as old as humanity: "This property’s so hot, you’ve got to take your gear off before you get inside."


Continue reading "Australian Realtor Gets His Properties Hot in a Speedo: VIDEO" »

Gay Couple Blocked by Catholic Church in Real Estate Deal Files Suit Alleging Discrimination


Back in July Andrew posted about James Fairbanks and Alain Beret, married business partners from Sutton, Massachusetts, who were blocked by the Diocese of Worcester from buying an estate after Monsignor Thomas Sullivan found out that gay weddings might eventually be held on the property.

SullivanFairbanks and Beret are now filing suit, the Boston Globe reports:

Beret, 59, and Fairbanks, 57, plan to file a lawsuit Monday morning in Worcester Superior Court against Sullivan, the bishop, the church’s real estate agent, and the nonprofit retreat center, the House of Affirmation, alleging they discriminated against Beret and Fairbanks on the basis of sexual orientation in the course of a real estate negotiation, violating state law.

“I have lived quietly in the mainstream for nearly 60 years, and I expected to continue that,” Beret said in an interview yesterday. “But I will not continue that at the expense of my dignity.”

Sullivan, in a phone interview yesterday, said he did not even know Fairbanks and Beret were gay, and that his e-mail was taken out of context. The talks fizzled, he said, because the men could not secure financing for their first offer, and their second offer was unacceptable to the church.


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