Tuesday, July 23, 2024
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HRC: LGBTQ+ community youth and adults experience higher rates of losing their home

The Human Rights Campaign Foundation (HRCF), the educational arm of the nation’s largest LGBTQ+ civil rights organization, and its Public Education and Research program released a report featuring data that highlights the disproportionately high rates of homelessness in the LGBTQ+ community.

This report explores the pathways to homelessness by focusing on how parental rejection, poverty, and risk of foreclosure and eviction affect housing stability.

To read the full Precursors to Homelessness report, visit here.

“Every person deserves a roof over their head and a place to call home—that includes LGBTQ+ people,” said Charleigh Flohr, Associate Director, Public Education & Research Program at the Human Rights Campaign. “The unfortunate reality is that many LGBTQ+ people today are at risk of losing their homes because they can’t pay their mortgage or rent, and sadly, one of the major contributing factors to their housing instability is that LGBTQ+ people, on average, have lower household incomes. For many LGTBQ+ people this vicious cycle starts early in life with many LGBTQ+ youth facing rejection at home, and that unacceptance significantly increases the odds of living in unstable housing conditions, negatively impacting academic performance and long-term economic health. We must aim to create a world where no person is forced to choose between living authentically, putting food on the table or keeping a roof over their head.”

Key findings from the report include:

Homelessness Among LGBTQ+ Youth

3.4% of LGBTQ+ youth (age 13-18) surveyed in 2022 were experiencing housing instability at the time of the survey, including 3.6% transgender and gender-expansive youth and 3.1% of Cisgender LGBQ+ youth.

LGBTQ+ youth who experienced some form of parental rejection (3.9%) were almost twice as likely to be unstable housed than youth who did not experience any form of parental rejection (2.3%).

Housing instability influences school performance and achievement of LGBTQ+ youth, and in return, long-term economic outcomes. One-quarter (27.3%) of LGBTQ+ youth who experienced unstable housing were earning below a “B” grade average, compared to 13.4% of LGBTQ+ students who were stably housed.

Homelessness Among LGBTQ+ Adults

LGBTQ+ adults are more likely than non-LGBTQ+ adults to be behind on their mortgage payments, adjusting for other factors like age, race, household income and other indicators of impoverishment

LGBTQ+ renters are also significantly more likely to be behind on their rent compared to their non-LGBTQ+ renting peers when adjusting for these factors

LGBTQ+ adults are more likely to be in lower income brackets than their non-LGBTQ+ peers: 62.5% of LGBTQ+ adults reported annual household incomes below $75,000 (the median household income in the United States), compared with 53.2% non-LGBTQ+ adults

Among homeowners earning less than $75,000 /year, LGBTQ+ and transgender adults are more likely than non-LGBTQ+ peers to be behind on their mortgage, reported by
10.4% of non-LGBTQ+ adults
12.1% of LGBTQ+ adults
16.9% of transgender adults

Among low-income renters the reverse trend emerges – LGBTQ+ and transgender renters earning less than $75,000/year are less likely to be behind on rent, reported by:
17.0% of non-LGBTQ+ adults
15.9% of LGBTQ + adults
15.1% of transgender adults

Accompanying the report is a series of actionable steps families, educators and coworkers to utilize when unsure of how to support the homeless LGBTQ+ community:

  • Affirm and accept your LGBTQ+ child(ren)
  • Let your children know you are a safe space for them
  • Create an inclusive workplace where LGBTQ+ workers can thrive
  • Use sexual orientation and gender identity demographic data in HR systems to address pay gaps and/or pipeline blockages
  • Advocate for pro-equality policies and laws

The Human Rights Campaign Foundation is the educational arm of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) people. Through its programs, the HRC Foundation seeks to make transformational change in the everyday lives of LGBTQ+ people, shedding light on inequity and deepening the public’s understanding of LGBTQ+ issues, with a clear focus on advancing transgender and racial justice. Its work has transformed the landscape for more than 15 million workers, 11 million students, 1 million clients in the adoption and foster care system and so much more.

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