Here's how TD is helping eliminate barriers for first-time homebuyers

May 25 2023, 7:00 pm

The process of buying your first home can undoubtedly be an overwhelming one ā€” especially given the notoriously pricey markets of most Canadian cities ā€” but what many people and especially institutions may fail to recognize are the obstacles that equity-deserving people specifically face when it comes to the home buying journey.

The 2SLGBTQ+ community is among those that are often vulnerable to housing discrimination and other barriers during the home buying process, particularly in Ontario, which can tarnish an otherwise positive and important life milestone.

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Whether you’re seeking advice on getting your first mortgage, picking your first home, investing, saving, or for any other banking needs, you as a customer want to know that you’re working with a team you trust, and that is looking out for your best interests — and that is where TD comes in.

TD is a champion for 2SLGBTQ+ folks and other equity-deserving groups within the banking sector, leading the way by supporting diversity and inclusion when it comes to customers, colleagues, and community.

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Creating a comfortable environment that feels safe for everyone to come as they are, TD has a long history of internal and external 2SLGBTQ+ support, including providing same-sex spousal benefits for employees, covering gender affirmation surgery for employees and families, adopting gender-neutral restrooms and signage, and forming dedicated teams to address the distinct issues facing certain communities while banking.

Adam Leroux, Regional Manager of 2SLGBTQ+ Business Development at TD Bank Group, is one of those spearheading change at TD and within the industry as a whole.

“Specific financial advice for the 2SLGBTQ+ community is unique, as it has different challenges and needs ā€” and that’s where I come in,” Leroux tells Daily Hive.

“Bank policies were usually made without 2SLGBTQ+ or equity-deserving people at the table, so the way things work even now doesn’t include them. My team works with the community to understand the different diverse lived experiences, and brings that information back to TD to proactively make changes to how we go about our business.”

The 2SLGBTQ+ Business Development team helps the community navigate the bank to ensure that individuals feel safe and seen when they’re banking with TD and know they can access trusted financial advice.

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This can mean helping with things like updating pronouns and gender markers on their banking profile, and ensuring TD customers are working with banking staff, mortgage advisors, realtors, accountants, lawyers, and others who they feel comfortable with.

“You want everyone that goes into the home-buying transaction to be an ally or be part of the community, and to make you feel like you really are getting the best service,” Leroux says.

Another consideration is ensuring that first-time home buyers purchase property that’s in a neighbourhood and/or town that’s 2SLGBTQ+-friendly and has sufficient medical, social and other supports in place to meet their needs.

“A lot of folks would highlight that they feel they haven’t received good quality or trusted advice from institutions because of systemic discrimination, so we’re trying to change that by saying you can come to us and we want to ensure that you feel supported when banking with us,” Leroux says.

“We are taking really great steps as an institution to be a change leader, influence social and economic change, and hopefully inspire other organizations to do the same work. We want our customers to feel safe, get trusted advice, not feel left out, and enjoy the exciting process of purchasing a home — that’s the important and impactful part of my job that I love.”

If you’re considering a first-time home purchase, especially if you’re a member of the 2SLGBTQ+ community or any other group facing banking barriers, visit td.com for more information, and make sure to stop in at your local branch for a conversation with a TD personal banker to discuss your goals and options.

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