Chicago's 9 Best Resources for LGBTQ Homebuyers

Chicago's 9 Best Resources for LGBTQ Homebuyers  (SOURCE: Wikimedia commons)

In her groundbreaking work, Sister Outsider, Audre Lorde writes, "There is no thing as a single-issue struggle because we do not live single-issue lives." For members of the LGBTQ community, this will continue to be true, even as Pride Month takes over parts of Chicago this June. Finding secure housing is a complicated process on its own, but the pathway to LGBTQ homeownership comes with a unique set of needs and histories. And, while the state of Illinois does have laws and policies in place that protect same-sex marriage and the right to fair housing, these are not the only issues at hand for LGBTQ folks navigating the real estate market. 

With that in mind, the team at Real Group Realty would like to celebrate Pride Month by offering up nine great resources and organizations for potential LGBTQ homebuyers and their families. 

1.  Center on Halsted

Located in the Lakeview neighborhood, Center on Halsted is "the Midwest's most comprehensive community center dedicated to advancing community and securing the health and well-being of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) people of Chicagoland." This organization runs everything from book clubs to HIV screenings, and it also facilitates legal seminars on topics related to Chicago real estate. It also has a legal referral service that can provide support during the search for a new home.

2.  Lambda Legal

Lambda Legal extends beyond the legal capacities of a community center by offering free, complete legal representation to its LBGTQ clients. According to their mission statement, this organization seeks "to achieve full recognition of the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people and those with HIV through impact litigation, education and public policy work." Their Midwestern regional offices are located in downtown Chicago, making it an accessible resource for those in the area, but Lambda Legal encourages potential clients nationwide to begin a online conversation

3. Project Fierce

Leaving one home in search of another can be a taxing experience, and it's one that Project Fierce is tackling head-on in the Chicago area. This group "is a grassroots collective of radical social workers, housing advocates and young people who are working together to establish identity-affirming transitional housing."  Though this organization works mostly with youth populations, it does provide care and support for adults. 

4. Gender Just

Gender Just "develops the leadership and power of diverse Queer Chicagoans through a commitment to racial, economic and gender justice, and the vibrant resistance cultures of our communities!" This group holds campaigns that fight for affirming neighborhoods on behalf of queer communities of color and transgender populations. It's a great way to find support during a move!

5. The Welcoming Committee 

So, once you're in Chicago, you're going to want to make friends, right? Check out The Welcoming Committee! This group stages "bar takeovers" in order to increase queer visibility and create friendships

6. The Chicago House

A disproportionate amount of housing insecurity affects the transgender community. Through its Translife Center, The Chicago House brings together both social and health services that directly address the distinct needs of transidentities in order to create a fuller sense of social justice. It provides housing resources to individuals across a range of economic statuses and can help you ask the right questions as you navigate the housing market.  

7. The Howard Brown Center

The Howard Brown Center is a nationally-recognized LGBTQ community center that serves "more than 16,000 adults and youth each year in its diverse health and social service delivery system focused around seven major programmatic divisions." Not only does this historied center provide health care that specializes in LGBTQ matters (including counseling), they also have support groups for those new to Chicago, parenting, different gender performances- You name it. No matter your relationship status or size of your family, Howard Brown could be a great resource for you as you grow in the Chicago community. 

8. Transformative Justice Law Project of Illinois

This collective "prioritizes legal advocacy for folks of color, poor and street-based people, folks who have experienced incarceration or policing, folks living with HIV/AIDS, youth, immigrants, undocumented people, people with mental/physical disabilities, and folks who are in the sex trade and street economies." It could be a good place to begin your search for a home and help navigate the paperwork and resources associated with home buying. 

9. National Immigrant Justice Center

"Home" carries a lot of different meanings and, for those in the process of immigrating, its meaning might be continuously evolving. Through the NIJC, LGBTQ immigrants can find support through the housing process and secure a sense of advocacy. They also provide bilingual support and legal counsel for members of this community

If you're interested in giving back to your new community, most of these organizations have plenty of volunteer opportunities and get-togethers! And, if you're looking to change neighborhoods and find yourself in the market for a new home here in Chicago, give Real Group Realty a call! 

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