LGBT Homebuyers Have A New Tool to Help Find the Right Place to Live

Not all jurisdictions offer legal protections for LGBT homebuyers. A new feature on the Trulia website helps them learn in advance whether or not they're covered in a community.

If you’re gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender, you will have no problem buying a home in Philadelphia. That’s because the city includes sexual orientation and gender identity in its statutes forbidding housing discrimination.

Same goes for Phoenixville. But it may not be the case for Plymouth Meeting, because Pennsylvania doesn’t have statewide legal protections for LGBT home buyers.

Since the presence or absence of legal protections can make a difference for LGBT house-hunters, the Trulia real estate search site has added a new tool that informs searchers about the local legal protections in the communities where they search.

“Trulia’s Local Legal Protections feature was born from a recent Innovation Week at Trulia, which is an internal hack week where employees get to devote their time to a passion project, and was conceived and built by members of our internal Pride Network,” said Trulia spokesperson Kari Thurman in response to a written query. “Knowing our mission to help everyone discover a place they’ll love to live, the team saw a need to shed light on the confusing patchwork of housing and employment non-discrimination laws that exist for the LGBT community. The feature provides details on which protections exist and if those protections are provided at the state, county, or city level. We’re excited to celebrate this new feature as it is a first by a major real estate site.”

Available for every for-sale and off-market listing on Trulia, the Local Legal Protections feature is powered by data from the Movement Advancement Project, an independent nonprofit organization that provides research on equality for LGBT people.

“Choosing a home is one of the most significant decisions in people’s lives,” Ineke Mushovic, executive director of the Movement Advancement Project, said in a news release. The organization contributed data essential to building this feature. “For many, a primary consideration isn’t just the house, but whether they will be moving to a neighborhood where they are protected and feel supported.”