Monthly Archives: April 2016

LGBT Young Adults and Seniors Move in Together

It might sound like the plot of a movie—a number of young 20-somethings move in with a bunch of senior citizens, but for a new housing complex being planned out in Hollywood, it will eventually be a reality. The Los Angeles LGBT Center has contributed $100 million dollars towards a new LGBT housing complex that will focus on the two most at-risk age groups of the LGBT community: those in their teens and early 20s and those who are over 60 years old.

The Supportive Benefits of Cohabitation

LGBT Young Adults and Seniors Move in TogetherMany young people are homeless and may live on the streets after coming out (or being outed) to unsupporting families. They have nowhere to go, and while some do find their way to youth shelters and homeless shelters, others are unaware if such resources exist in their area or where they are. On the other end of the spectrum, LGBT senior citizens have been the target of discrimination and bullying in assisted living and other senior facilities, and they often feel out of place.

The creation of the new Anita May Rosenstein Campus will bring the two groups together, allowing them to feel comfortable and be themselves around others while at the same time forming friendships that might otherwise never be created. Because LGBT people are much, much less likely to have children, the senior citizens who move into the campus may not have formed any strong bonds with teens or young adults. Many also don’t have anyone to help care for them or simply sit down and talk with them.

The Connections Are There

With little connection between the generations in the LGBT community, some find that it is missing that family connection that many extended families have. One of the goals of the campus is to help create that connection. The older residents will be able to serve as mentors and guides to the younger generation. They’ll also have a chance to share their personal experiences with the battle for equality and the history of the LGBT community that they lived through.

On the other side, the young adults of the community may find comfort in having older LGBT residents living nearby. For those who have no contact with their families at all, these older residents may become parental-like figures. The younger members of the campus will also be able to help to help with some basic tasks and help their older neighbors become familiar with computers and social media.

As the first of its kind, this living situation may become an ideal model for communities with a high number of homeless LGBT teens or LGBT adults who find themselves spending much of their golden years alone.

Posted on April 26, 2016 in Fair Housing Laws, Gay and Lesbian, Gay Marriage, Housing

Housing Availability in Several Popular Cities

Thinking of moving to San Diego, Miami, Phoenix, or Seattle?  These are four fairly popular cities that many LGBT people move to.  While they’re not San Francisco or New York City in terms of the LGBT lifestyle, they also aren’t as expensive or as crowded.  But not all four of these cities have the same housing availability.  In fact, moving to a couple of them can be difficult if you’re looking to purchase a home, but have a fairly strict budget and needs.

San Diego

Housing Availability in Several Popular CitiesSan Diego is a popular destination in California.  It’s close to LA and San Francisco, but it’s nowhere near as crowded, plus it’s more affordable.  But it’s not easy to find single-family homes or condos in the city.  In fact, according to Zillow, the available housing in San Diego dropped more than 30 percent in 2015.  More people are moving than are leaving, which makes it difficult to find a home that fits your needs and budget.  At the end of 2015, there were less than 6,000 properties for sale.  That sounds like a lot, but when you factor in needs, price, and location, the number that fit your idea of a dream home is fairly small.

Seattle, Phoenix, and Miami

Seattle, likewise, is down to less than 7,500 properties for sale.  The city has become very popular with younger generations, while the older generations who already own homes in the city don’t want to sell.

But then there’s the other end of the spectrum.  Both Phoenix and Miami are definitely in a buyer’s market phase at the moment.  Miami has more than 37,000 properties available, while Phoenix has more than 19,000.  Have people been leaving these two cities in droves?  Not quite—instead, developers have been building many more units than were needed, leaving the housing market with too many properties and not enough buyers.

What Does it Mean?

If you’re a seller with property in Seattle or San Diego, you’re in a very good position.  With fewer competing properties, you shouldn’t have much trouble selling your property.  If you’re looking to buy, though, be aware that you’re going to have to pay the asking price or even a little over.  If you hesitate, you’ll lose the property to someone else.

The opposite is true in Miami and Phoenix.  Buyers control the market here, picking and choosing the properties they want and often getting away with lowball offers.  Sellers who want to offload their properties quickly will have to accept these offers.

Should You Consider a Move to Texas?

Texas is known by many in the LGBT community to be a very conservative state.  It’s where Lawrence v. Texas was decided, and it’s currently one of the few states where Obergefell v. Hodges was challenged following the Supreme Court’s ruling.  There are also few laws protecting LGBT citizens in some areas.  However, there are several cities that are very welcoming to LGBT people and have put protecting ordinances in place.

Protections

Members of the LGBT Community Should Not Fear Moving to Texas, Just Know What to ExpectCurrently, Texas does not have any statewide law prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.  Employees are not protected from being fired despite several bills being introduced in the legislature.  None of those bills made it through committee readings.  LGBT people are also not protected from being discriminated against in the areas of public accommodations, housing, or insurance.  Several bills offering protection in these areas also failed to get out of committee.

Fortunately, there are cities and counties that do offer protection.  Dallas County does not allow discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity when it comes to hiring county employees or contractors.  Walker County offers protection to county employees, but that protection does not include gender identity.

A number of cities also include protections for LGBT people, including Dallas, Fort Worth, Austin, Plano, San Antonio, El Paso, Waco, Houston, and Grand Prairie.  The types of protection differ from city to city, and it’s important to note that while these protections are on the books, they may not always been enforced.  A gay or lesbian real estate agent may be able to point you towards more information about the protections offered in the area you’re looking to move to.

Colleges and Universities

If you’re looking at going to school in Texas, you’ll find that most universities do have non-discrimination policies in place that protect both students and employees on the basis of orientation, identity, or both.  This includes the branches of the University of Texas, the University of North Texas, Rice, Georgetown, San Houston State University, and Texas A&M.

Adoption

Any adult can legally adopt a child, regardless of orientation or gender identity, and second-parent adoption by same-sex couples has been done.  However, it’s important to note that while there’s nothing prohibiting this, there’s nothing specifically approving it, either.  The Texas Supreme Court has not made an official statement, but they have said that the decision lower courts have made that allowed same-sex second-parent adoptions was correct.

So overall, if you’re moving to Texas, do a little research first to see what kinds of LGBT protections are in place in the area you’re moving to.

Is Omaha the Place for You?

Are you thinking about moving to Omaha, Nebraska?  If you are, you may have already contacted a gay or lesbian real estate agent there and started looking at properties.  Some people feel that Nebraska is a part of the Bible Belt and, thus, isn’t very welcoming to LGBT people.  It’s true that same-sex marriage wasn’t legal in the state until Obergefell v. Hodges, but it’s also true that the Attorney General of that state made an immediate announcement stating that Nebraska would not challenge the ruling or enforce any laws that went against it.

Omaha is Becoming A Great Place for the LGBT Community to Call HomeThe Nebraska state government may not have led the charge for same-sex rights, but they also often seem like they were trying to provide what they could for their LGBT citizens even when the people of Nebraska didn’t support gay rights.  For example, in 2000, voters had passed a constitutional amendment restricting marriage to a man and a woman.  Many other states did this in the form of a legislative statute.  Shortly thereafter, the state provided same-sex couples with hospital visitation rights by passing a designated visitor statute.

LGBT couples in Omaha can adopt children following the August 2015 court decision that struck down state policy Memo 1-95.  This policy was often only used to prevent same-sex or unmarried couples from adopting children, the plaintiffs argued, and the court agreed.

Omaha and Protections

While the state itself does not provide any legal protections against discrimination in employment based on orientation or identity, the city of Omaha has passed its own nondiscrimination ordinance.  This ordinance covers both gender identity and sexual orientation.

The Old Market

If you’re considering a move to Omaha, one area of the city that tends to be very LGBT friendly is called the Old Market.  This neighborhood is on the National Register of Historic Places and features many different restaurants, coffee shops, art galleries, and more.  It’s right in the downtown of Omaha, and even has some properties on the Missouri River.  Residents can walk to the Omaha Botanical Gardens, visit the Love’s Jazz and Art Center, or take in a show at the John Beasley Theater.  Because it’s downtown, there are almost always at least a few events going on nearby.

While Nebraska may not have embraced the LGBT community, Omaha is certainly one of the more liberal parts of the state and offers more than some of the other cities there.  It’s not a bad place to live if you want to move to this part of the country.