January 20, 2011

Fair is Fair

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When a person is denied housing because of their gender, religion, race/ethnicity or disability status, that’s patently illegal and certainly unfair.  But what about if that same person is lesbian, gay, transgender or bisexual?  The Fair Housing Act does not include LGBT status among its protected classes but while the law may not specifically prohibit this form of  discrimination, HUD is proposing new regulations to make certain the Department’s core housing and community development programs protect the housing rights of persons regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

HUD is seeking public comment on a number of proposed areas including:

  • Prohibiting lenders from using sexual orientation or gender identity as a basis to determine a borrower’s eligibility for FHA-insured mortgage financing.
  • Making clear that all otherwise eligible families, regardless of marital status, sexual orientation, or gender identity, have the opportunity to participate in HUD programs.  The proposed definition clarifies that otherwise eligible families may not be excluded because one or more members of the family may be an LGBT individual, have an LGBT relationship, or be perceived to be such an individual or in such relationship.
  • Prohibiting owners and operators of HUD-assisted housing, or housing whose financing is insured by HUD, from inquiring about the sexual orientation or gender identity of an applicant for, or occupant of, the dwelling, whether renter- or owner-occupied.

As Secretary Donovan said when the Department proposed its new rule, “This is a fundamental issue of fairness.  We have a responsibility to make certain that public programs are available to all Americans.  With this proposed rule, we will make clear that a person’s eligibility for federal housing programs is, and should be, based solely on their need and not on their sexual orientation or gender identity.”

John Trasviña is the Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity

5 Responses to Fair is Fair

  1. About time. I am very happy to see these rules being proposed. I applaud HUD for stepping up on this issue. All Americans should have equal protection and equal access.

  2. I agree. We have come a long way, but there are people who are not protected. I am glad that we have people at HUD that take the necessary steps to continue the fight for fairness and equality.

  3. \HUMAN RIGHTS\. As advanced as humans are, we are so backwards in our caring and compassion for other people. Thank You HUD for protecting ALL HUMAN BEINGS. God Bless!

  4. I am on disability and have waited for almost 2 years for a Section 8 Housing Voucher. I was dropped from the list, Why? I did not return the “Confirm to remain on list” letter (hard to return something I didn’t have) that I did NOT receive.

    Even if I had done the Change of Address with this Housing Authority, I would not have received the letter and would have been dropped from the Housing Voucher list. Appeal filed, denied.

    I was recently informed by a ex-co worker of the mgr, she tends to “retaliate” should you “cross her”, I fear this was retaliation.

    More and more people are in desperate need of housing assistance, we MUST have caring reputable people in these positions as well a process that keeps with the times.

    Housing Authority employees need remember these are human beings you are dealing with!

  5. It’s best to look in your phone book for Fair Housing advocacies locally, then write your complaint.You can also file a complaint right now, by using HUD’s online form , or You can call toll-free 1 (800) 669-9777.:)

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