January 21, 2011 (Jeff Alan)
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced proposals for new regulations intended to ensure that its core housing programs are open to all eligible persons, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan stressed HUD’s new proposal reaffirms the White House’s commitment to LGBT Americans.
As the Nation’s housing agency, HUD administers programs designed to meet the goal of ensuring decent housing and suitable living environment for all. In pursuit of this goal, it is HUD’s responsibility to ensure that all who are otherwise eligible to participate in HUD’s programs have equal access to these programs and have the opportunity to compete fairly for HUD funds without being subject to arbitrary exclusion.
The new proposals are in reaction to evidence that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals and families are being arbitrarily excluded from some housing opportunities in the private sector. Through this proposed rule, HUD strives to ensure that its core programs are open to all eligible individuals and families regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.
“This is a fundamental issue of fairness,” said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. “We have a responsibility to make certain that public programs are open 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 on their need and not on their sexual orientation or gender identity.”
Under the proposed measures, lenders would be banned from using a borrower’s sexual orientation or gender identity to determine their eligibility to receive Federal Housing Authority-backed mortgages. The proposal would also clarify the definition of families eligible to enroll in HUD programs. And HUD-supported housing initiatives would not be allowed to inquire about an applicant’s sexual orientation or gender identity.
HUD will formally announce the proposed regulations on Monday, Jan. 24, and they will undergo a 60 day public comment period that will end on March 25.
If you’d like to view the proposal or get information on how to participate during the comment period, go here.
Tags: HUD, LGBT, housing programs, sexual orientation, gender identity, housing discrimination