February 14, 2011

HUD gets word out about ensuring equal access to housing for the LGBT community

Written by:

Our  guest blogger today is Kenneth J. Carroll,Director, HUD’s Fair Housing Assistance Program Division, Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity

HUD continues to let the public know about its initiative to ensure equal access of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people to its programs. On Wednesday, February 9, John Trasviña, Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, hosted a roundtable discussion in Los Angeles on LGBT housing issues. We were pleased by the wide array of community organizations, housing experts, and representatives of public offices (including U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer, Representative Xavier Becerra, and West Hollywood Mayor John Duran) who attended the briefing. Earlier this month, I presented on HUD’s work to ensure equal housing access of LGBT people at Creating Change, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Conference on LGBT Equality, in Minneapolis. That audience included community groups, advocacy organizations, housing providers, and experts on LGBT housing issues. I presented alongside Pam Kisch, Executive Director of the Fair Housing Center of Southeastern Michigan, who discussed her organization’s 2007 statewide study of housing discrimination against same sex couples. These opportunities have afforded Assistant Secretary Trasviña and me the opportunity to talk to interested community members about HUD’s recently issued rule, Equal Access to Housing in HUD Programs Regardless of Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity (published in the Federal Register on January 24, 2011), which proposes to:

  • Clarify that all otherwise eligible families, regardless of marital status, sexual orientation, or gender identity, have the opportunity to participate in HUD programs.
  • Specify that adequacy of income for any FHA-insured mortgage loan must not be based on unrelated factors or characteristics such as sexual orientation or gender identity.
  • Prohibit owners and operators of HUD-assisted housing, housing where financing is insured by HUD, or any other recipient or sub-recipient of HUD funds from inquiring about the sexual orientation or gender identity of an applicant or occupant.

HUD wants to hear from you regarding these changes. Submit comments at Regulations.gov by March 25.

If you believe that you have experienced housing discrimination, call the HUD housing discrimination hotline at (800) 669-9777, or go to www.hud.gov, for assistance. Also, visit HUD’s website on housing discrimination against LGBT people at www.hud.gov/lgbthousingdiscrimination.

5 Responses to HUD gets word out about ensuring equal access to housing for the LGBT community

  1. Where can I find the related offices in Canada? My friend has been having some issues, she won’t address them, but i’m starting to feel the need to.

  2. Pingback: FHC Director Pam Kisch presents at Creating Change Conference | Fair Housing Center

  3. Section 8 housing is not safe for (perceived) LGBT residents.

    Consider the Mission Gardens Apartments in Santa Cruz, yes Santa Cruz, California. It is managed by The John Stewart Company (JSCO) and administered by the California Housing Finance Agency (CalHFA) under contract to HUD.

    At Mission Gardens, a gang of adult predators stalk residents they perceive to be LGBT. They attack them with profane, homophobic taunts. They threaten them with assault. Worst, they spread vicious lies using the crudest of stereotypes claiming (perceived) LGBT residents endanger children.

    JSCO is hiding this travesty, claiming against objective evidence passed to HUD and CalHFA that this complex is safe. Most of this behavior is grounded in drug and alcohol abuse. Yet HUD and CalHFA continue to deflect responsibility to JSCO (who does nothing).

    The government is obligated to protect (perceived) LGBT Section 8 residents.

    When will the Mission Gardens Apartments be safe for (perceived) LGBT residents?

  4. blog.hud.gov is wonderful. There’s always all of the ideal info in the ideas of my fingers. Thanks and keep up the excellent work!

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