JUPITER, Fla. — The National Association of Gay and Lesbian Real Estate Professionals (NAGLREP) has announced the launch of its LGBT Mortgage Advisory Group to represent the interests of LGBTQ home buyers and mortgage professionals focusing on advocacy, education and empowerment.
Kimber White, president elect of the National Association of Mortgage Brokers (NAMB), serves as the group’s chair. In October, White will become the first openly gay president in NAMB’s 47-year history. Valerie Saunders, executive director of the NAMB, is the LGBT Mortgage Advisory Group co-chair.
The group will work to create policy toward ending discrimination in any phase of the mortgage process. It will also identify opportunities to increase the LGBTQ homeownership rate which Freddie Mac reports at 49 percent, below the national figure of 65 percent. Additionally the group will work to showcase the lending industry as a viable career for LGBTQ individuals.
“NAGLREP has done an incredible job in raising awareness of the challenges LGBTs face in their pursuit of homeownership and obviously discrimination remains a leading barrier to entry,” White said. “I’ve been really pleased with how the lending industry has supported NAGLREP over the years. This is the next step. We believe NAGLREP’s lending partners can play a vital role in making the lending process easier for LGBTs while also identifying areas of business opportunities.”
White pointed out that researchers at Iowa State University’s Ivy College of Business recently found same-sex mortgage loan applicants were 73 percent more likely to be denied a loan than heterosexual couples. Additionally, despite no evidence that same-sex couples had higher default rates, same-sex couples paid more in fees and interest.
“The Iowa State study and the recent Newsday expose that showcased unequal treatment of minorities raised a lot of eyebrows in the real estate industry about ongoing discrimination,” NAGLREP founder Jeff Berger said. “The National Association of Realtors has been a great partner and recently launched its Multicultural Real Estate Leadership Taskforce to address housing discrimination. Our new LGBT Mortgage Advisory Group is another addition to NAGLREP’s advocacy work that should add greatly to the industry’s efforts.”
NAGLREP corporate partners Freddie Mac, Bank of America, Sun Trust, Wells Fargo, TD Bank, Prime Lending, Union Bank, US Bank, Quicken Loans and OnQFinancial, among others, are expected to participate in the LGBT Mortgage Advisory Group’s initial meeting at NALGREP’s LGBT Housing Policy Summit on April 28-29 at the Human Rights Campaign’s Equality Center in Washington, D.C.