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HUD Announces New Rules on LGBT Housing Discrimination

HUD Announces New Rules on LGBT Housing Discrimination

 

Speaking Sunday at the Creating Change conference in Baltimore, U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Shaun Donovan told conference attendees the government will be creating new rules to bolster existing regulations against LGBT discrimination in housing and lending.

The new rule will prohibit owners and operators of HUD-assisted housing and HUD-insured housing from asking about an applicants sexual orientation or gender identity.  In addition to this, the narrow definition of “family” will now be widened to explicitly include LGBT families. Third, the new rule will also protect LGBT people when they are applying for a mortgage insured by HUD partner the FHA.

From On Top Magazine:

“Today, I am proud to announce a new Equal Access to Housing Rule that says clearly and unequivocally that LGBT individuals and couples have the rights to live where they choose,” Donovan said.

“This is an idea whose time has come.”

The change bars owners and operators of HUD-funded or -financed housing from inquiring about an applicant’s sexual orientation or gender identity.

“If you are denying HUD housing to people on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity — actual or perceived — you’re discriminating, you’re breaking the law, and you will be held accountable.”

The Human Rights Campaign in a statement praised the HUD announcement:

“The new regulations from HUD will help protect LGBT people and our families in one of the most fundamental aspects of life – finding and keeping a home,” said HRC President Joe Solmonese. “This common sense action will help some of the most vulnerable people in our community in trying to make homes for themselves and their families.”

The rule, which will be published this coming week, will go into effect 30 days after publication.

This move, while very welcome, will only ban housing discrimination in HUD assisted programs. Further action will be required to outlaw the wider problems of discrimination LGBTs face in the housing and credit sectors.

Senator John Kerry last year introduced legislation to make it illegal to discriminate against LGBT Americans in the housing and credit markets.

The legislation, the Housing Opportunities Made Equal (HOME) Act, would amend the Fair Housing Act to prohibit housing discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation, gender identity and marital status. It would also bar discrimination on the grounds of source of income and would amend the Equal Opportunity Credit Act to prohibit LGBT discrimination in credit related decisions.

You can read more on that here.

Related Reading:
Banning Anti-Gay Housing Discrimination Could Impact our Rights Say Catholic Bishops
Housing Department Proposes New LGBT Anti-Discrimination Rule
HUD Wants Your Help to End Anti-Gay Housing Discrimination

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Photo used under the Creative Commons Attribution License, with thanks to woodleywonderworks.

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14 comments

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2:05AM PST on Feb 4, 2012

Housing is housing...can you make the payments and be a good neighbor?

8:48PM PST on Jan 31, 2012

It is about time that LGBT folks have their civil rights protected, in housing, employment, the right to enter contracts, specifically marriage contracts, etc. Now that the Presidential election is drawing near, there is suddenly some action from the executive branch on civil rights for LGBT folks-- I guess he is not taking our votes for granted!

3:15PM PST on Jan 31, 2012

Wow. Can you imagine we have to have a law to keep our government out of peoples bedrooms. Now if only someone would pass a law to keep our politicans out of our bedrooms for good.

12:24PM PST on Jan 31, 2012

I am glad to see this ruling going forward. I wrote a letter to Shaun Donovan during the public comment period of this rule. I am a 62 year old transgendered woman living in HUD subsidized housing. I have not experienced any discrimination, but I know of others that have. I am fortunate to live in Colorado, one of thirteen States that have a anti discrimination policy that includes Gender Identity

I would like to thank Mr. Donovan and President Obama for their forward looking policy's on the issues involving all LGBTQ citizens. .

12:09PM PST on Jan 31, 2012

Gay men and lesbians have frequently been victims of discrimination in housing, but trans folks have suffered even more. Discrimination in housing and employment must be abolished. Passing ENDA would be a good start.

10:59AM PST on Jan 31, 2012

A good beginning. Thanks for the article.

9:22AM PST on Jan 31, 2012

Housing is a basic need - what difference does it make what you do in your bedroom as long as it is consenting adults? None of my business. Help those who need help for Pete's sake!

5:59AM PST on Jan 31, 2012

It is sad that it has to be made a ruling. All persons should be eligible for the services of HUD based solely on need. As for FHA, I have never seen a question on their application (we bought through FHA)for the makeup of the family or genders and orientation.

5:30AM PST on Jan 31, 2012

One step forward.

11:56AM PST on Jan 30, 2012

A step in the right direction. About time.

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