|HUD No. 12-33
Adam Glantz (212) 264-1100
Olga Alvarez (212) 542-7142
June 28, 2012
HUD LGBT SUMMIT OUTLINES NEW RULES TO PROTECT LGBT COMMUNITY
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development trains stakeholders on new housing rules aimed to respect the rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender people and protect them from discrimination
NEW YORK - Today, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Fair Housing Assistant Secretary John Trasviña ushered in a new era in housing rights for the New York Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender community. Close to 150 HUD employees, stakeholders, public housing authority employees, advocates, members of the legal community, and others participated in a day of training to learn about the new housing rules that went into effect March 5, 2012. Eligibility and protections for the LGBT community seeking for HUD housing, shelter or mortgage insurance were clearly outlined in accordance to local laws.
"There is no place in America for discrimination based on a person's sexual orientation or gender identity," said HUD Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing John Trasviña. "The challenges facing LGBT individuals are significant, but we believe that our efforts, with the support of many of you here today, can help to level the playing field when it comes to housing. No one should be denied a housing opportunity because of their sexual orientation or gender identity."
Some of the topics discussed included: Fair Housing and HUD's new LGBT (Equal Access) Rule; Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH); Community Planning & Development; Public Housing and homelessness. Margarita López, Board Member of the New York City Housing Authority who is openly lesbian was a featured speaker at today's training. Ms. López spoke to the issues facing the LGBT community.
"The issues faced by the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender community are not isolated. They face the same kinds of issues that the general public faces, such as access to affordable housing, for which I have been a long-time advocate," said New York City Housing Authority Board Member Margarita López. "I applaud HUD and all those who gave their support for making these new housing rules possible, for ensuring that everyone has a right to fair housing."
The federal Fair Housing Act prohibits housing discrimination based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability, and familial status (i.e., presence of children in the household). The Fair Housing Act does not specifically include sexual orientation and gender identity as prohibited bases. However, a lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) person's experience with sexual orientation or gender identity housing discrimination may still be covered by the Fair Housing Act. In addition, housing providers that receive HUD funding, have loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), as well as lenders insured by FHA, may be subject to HUD program regulations intended to ensure equal access of LGBT persons.
HUD's regulations requiring equal access to LGBT persons include the following:
- A general equal access provision which requires housing that is funded by HUD or subject to a mortgage insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) to be made available without regard to actual or perceived sexual orientation;
- Clarification that the terms "family" and "household" as used in HUD programs include persons regardless of actual or perceived sexual orientation; gender identity or marital status;
- Prohibition on owners and operators of HUD funded housing or housing insured by FHA from asking about an applicant's or occupant's sexual orientation or gender identity for the purpose of determining eligibility or otherwise making housing available; and,
- Prohibition on FHA lenders from taking into account actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity in determining the adequacy of a potential borrower's income.
HUD can withhold funding for those found to be discriminatory landlords or can order landlords to pay fines or restitution to victims of discrimination.
Secretary Shaun Donovan and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development launched a ground-breaking national study of housing discrimination against members of the LGBT community in the sale and rental of housing. The results of the study will be released later this year.
Anyone that feels discriminated against can file a complaint by calling (800) 669-9777 or visiting the HUD website.
HUD's mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD is working to strengthen the housing market to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes: utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination; and transform the way HUD does business. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at www.hud.gov and espanol.hud.gov. You can also follow HUD on Twitter at @HUDnews or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/HUD, or sign up for news alerts on HUD's News Listserv.