HUD Announces New Rule to Protect LGBT Community from Housing Discrimination

HUD SealOn January 28th, the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced a new rule designed to protect the LGBT community from housing discrimination.  The new rule, which will be published shortly and take effect 30 days after publication, contains the following provisions:

1.     It prohibits owners and operators of HUD-assisted or HUD-insured housing from discriminating against an applicant or occupant of a residence based on sexual orientation or gender identity;

2.     It prohibits lenders offering Federal Housing Administration-insured mortgages from considering sexual orientation or gender identity in determining a borrower’s eligibility; and

3.    It clarifies the definition of "family" to ensure that otherwise eligible participants in any HUD programs will not be excluded based on marital status, sexual orientation, or gender identity.

As United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development said, this new rule "represents a critical step in ensuring that LGBT Americans have fair access to the dream of responsible, sustainable homeownership.”

We are grateful to Secretary Donovan and the Obama administration for adopting this much-needed rule.  Last year, TLDEF and a group of allied organizations urged the Obama administration to strengthen housing protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

Transgender people face tremendous discrimination in the housing market, with 19% reporting that they were denied a home or apartment, and 11% reporting that they were evicted, because they were transgender or gender non-conforming.  If you believe that you have been the victim of housing discrimination, please contact us.