HUD Archives: News Releases

HUD No. 21-022
HUD Public Affairs
(202) 708-0685
For Release
February 12, 2021

WHAT THEY ARE SAYING: HUD's Directive to Enforce the Fair Housing Act to Prohibit Discrimination on the Basis of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced that it will administer and enforce the Fair Housing Act to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. The HUD directive begins implementation of the policy set forth in President Biden's Executive Order 13988 on Preventing and Combating Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity or Sexual Orientation (

Here's what they're saying about HUD's directive to enforce the Fair Housing Act to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity:

Senator Sherrod Brown: "No one should be excluded from housing based on who they are or who they love. I applaud the Biden Administration for taking steps to ensure that HUD is finally carrying out the Bostock ruling's confirmation that civil rights protections extend to sexual orientation and gender identity." [Statement (, 2/11/21]

Senator Martin Heinrich: "So pleased to see this from @HUDgov. Absolutely no one should be discriminated against simply for being who they are. I commend the Biden administration for taking action to guarantee that." [Tweet (, 2/11/21]

Senator Tim Kaine: "To this day, many LGBTQ+ Americans are turned away from housing opportunities because of who they love. I've seen firsthand the impact housing can have on a family's health and economic prospects. It's long past time we end this discrimination and ensure all Americans have equal access to housing. I'm pleased to see the Biden Administration take immediate action to protect the rights of more Americans as they find a home." [Statement, 2/11/2021]

Equality Caucus Chair Congressman David N. Cicilline: "No person should ever lose their home because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. It is un-American. I am pleased that HUD is taking action today to crack down on discrimination against LGBTQ+ people. This is a big step in the right direction, and I thank President Biden for his leadership on this important issue. LGBTQ+ people should be able to live their lives free from the fear of discrimination, regardless of which party controls the White House. That's why, in the weeks ahead, it is critical that Congress pass the Equality Act to establish permanent federal protections against discrimination in housing, education, employment, and other key areas of day-to-day life. I look forward to working with the President and my colleagues to get the job done." [Statement, 2/11/21]

Equality Caucus Co-Chair Congresswoman Angie Craig: "I am encouraged by today's announcement, which reaffirms that discrimination in the housing market on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity is unreasonable, immoral and illegal. This action is another step in a long march toward unraveling a pattern of discrimination against LGBTQ Americans enacted by the Trump Administration. While we still have a long way to go, I am proud to have President Biden and his Administration standing alongside us in our ongoing fight for equality." [Statement, 2/11/21]

Equality Caucus Co-Chair Congresswoman Sharice L. Davids: "I am thrilled that HUD took an important step today to fully enforce the Fair Housing Act and prevent discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in federally funded housing programs. No one should be discriminated against because of who they love or how they identity - but sadly this happens all too frequently. That is why we must finally get the Equality Act signed into law, so we can outlaw this kind of discrimination in every part of our society, not just in our federally funded programs. While we celebrate this progress in the fight for LGBTQ equality, we must also recommit to the work that still lies ahead." [Statement, 2/11/21]

Equality Caucus Co-Chair Congressman Mondaire Jones: "For years, so many LGBTQ+ people in this country have been housing-insecure because of the systems put in place to discriminate against us. Finding a place to live is hard enough and we should not have to deal with the additional hurdle of navigating a minefield of discrimination. Everyone deserves to feel safe at home." [Statement, 2/11/21]

Equality Caucus Co-Chair Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney: "Stable, safe housing for LGBTQ people isn't a 'nice to have', it's a 'need to have'. This is the right move by the Biden Administration, and it shows the president's strong commitment to equality for LGBTQ people. Today's decision is just the beginning. Working in lock-step with the White House, I will continue our fight to codify nondiscrimination protections for all LGBTQ Americans through the advancement of the Equality Act." [Statement, 2/11/21]

Equality Caucus Co-Chair Congressman Chris Pappas: "Safe and affordable housing is a fundamental human right, and I am thrilled to see the Department of Housing and Urban Development take action and prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender identity and sexual orientation. The Biden Administration has made it a priority to prevent and combat discrimination throughout the federal government, and I commend them for their efforts to ensure every American receives equal treatment under the law." [Statement, 2/11/21]

Equality Caucus Co-Chair Congressman Mark Pocan: "No one should be denied a home because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Only 22 states and the District of Columbia have explicit laws prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, so it is long overdue that we take federal action to enforce the Fair Housing Act for LGBTQ+ communities. At a time when so many across the nation are on the brink of homelessness and housing insecurity, we thank the Biden-Harris administration for moving swiftly to remove further obstacles to those seeking housing during this crisis. Next, Congress must pass the Fair and Equal Housing Act to make President Biden's executive order the law of the land once and for all." [Statement, 2/11/21]

Congressman David Price: "@HUDgov says discrimination based on sexuality or gender identity violates the Fair Housing Act. This sends a powerful signal that bias has no place in housing or emergency shelter." [Tweet (, 2/11/21]

Equality Caucus Co-Chair Congressman Mark Takano: "LGBTQ+ people are more likely to experience housing insecurity or homelessness, and rampant discrimination and economic inequality makes it harder for members of our community to secure a place to live. By administering and enforcing the Fair Housing Act to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, the Biden Administration is taking a major step toward combating discrimination against LGBTQ+ Americans. No one should ever be denied housing because of their identity and those who face discrimination deserve the same legal protections as everyone else. I applaud this monumental move, now let's pass the Equality Act to codify these legal protections and guarantee true equality under the law for every American." [Statement, 2/11/21]

Congressman Mike Quigley: "Today's announcement, in the first weeks of the Biden administration, is a declaration that LGBTQ rights are human rights and that housing discrimination on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation is unacceptable and should be relegated to the shameful past." [Statement (, 2/11/21]

Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton: "HUD's actions today to fully enforce the Fair Housing Act will guarantee protections for our LGBTQ friends and neighbors and ensure every American is able to access housing free from discrimination." [Statement (, 2/11/21]

GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders: "@HUDgov has announced it will protect LGBTQ people from discrimination in housing and shelters! This is an essential step toward ensuring LGBTQ people can live safely and free from discrimination. #HousingSavesLives" [Tweet (, 2/11/21]

Alphonso David, President, Human Rights Campaign: "Today, thanks to the Department of Housing and Urban Development and President Biden, LGBTQ people can rest assured that if they are denied housing in an emergency or refused rental of an apartment because of their sexual orientation or gender identity they will have recourse under federal law. This announcement implementing the Supreme Court's Bostock ruling and applying it to the Fair Housing Act will make a huge impact on the lives of LGBTQ people, particularly transgender people and LGBTQ people of color who face disproportionate rates of discrimination. From Day One, the Biden administration has made unprecedented and immediate changes to the lives of the 11 million LGBTQ people across the country and we look forward to continuing our work together with the president and his administration moving forward." [Statement (, 2/11/21]

Karen Loewy, Senior Counsel and Seniors Strategist, Lambda Legal: "Lambda Legal applauds this step by the Biden Administration to make the promise of equal housing opportunity real for LGBTQ people across the country. As our housing work has demonstrated and the Bostock decision confirmed, the harassment and discrimination that LGBTQ people face in housing are forms of sex discrimination that federal law will not tolerate. These actions by HUD will both prevent future discrimination and ensure that those who have experienced discrimination have a clear avenue for relief." [Statement (, 2/11/21]

Linda Couch, Vice President of Housing Policy, LeadingAge: "In the housing market, older adults continue to face discrimination based on their gender identity and sexual orientation. HUD's stance today will bring justice to older adults who seek to participate in a housing market free from discrimination and will send a clear message to all that such discrimination is illegal." [Via McKnight's Senior Living (, 2/12/21]

Charlie Oppler, President, National Association of Realtors®: "There are few greater human needs than housing, and to exclude LGBTQ individuals from the protections afforded to other Americans is cruel. This is a just and historic decision by HUD." [Statement (, 2/11/21]

David J. Johns, Executive Director, National Black Justice Coalition: "The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's announcement this morning explicitly prohibiting housing discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression will help to disrupt the cycle of discrimination based housing instability that negatively impacts the lives of too many Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ+) people, communities, and families. Having a consistent roof over one's head is a fundamental pillar in being able to thrive. We applaud the Biden, Harris administration for their immediate implementation of the U.S. Supreme Court's Bostock decision and look forward to additional actions to explicitly ensure that these important considerations are enforced and applied to all homeless shelters. Every American deserves access to the programs and support services that enable them to survive and succeed, especially during the current collision of health, economic, and social crises." [Statement (, 2/11/21]

Shannon Minter, Legal Director, National Center for Lesbian Rights: "Homelessness and housing insecurity are critical issues for many LGBTQ people - particularly transgender individuals who often face serious bias and barriers to finding safe and secure housing. This guidance makes clear that federal law prevents federally funded shelters from turning people away because of their sexual orientation or gender identity, as well as addressing anti-LGBTQ discrimination in all other areas of federal housing law." [Statement (, 2/11/21]

Mara Keisling, Executive Director, National Center for Transgender Equality: "What the Biden administration is doing now is incredibly important, doing right by some of the most marginalized people in the United States who need access to federal housing programs. What's really significant about it is they are using the Fair Housing Act, which is what we think the [Supreme Court] decision would require." [Via The Washington Post (, 2/11/21]

Jesse Van Tol, CEO, National Community Reinvestment Coalition: "We are glad to see that HUD is moving forward to implement President Biden's executive orders without delay, and taking strong action to prohibit housing discrimination, which is so often faced by the LGTBQ+ community. This community faces some of the highest rates of homelesses, which stems in large part from discrimination. They also face discrimination at many homelesses shelters. "Full enforcement of the Fair Housing Act to prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation was long overdue, and we applaud HUD for moving quickly." [Statement (, 2/11/21]

National Fair Housing Alliance: ".@HUDgov has announced that it will use the #FairHousingAct to prohibit discrim. on the basis of sexual orientation & gender. This is great news & we hope this step is one of many that the Biden admin will take to challenge systemic discrim. in housing." [Tweet (, 2/11/21]

National Homelessness Law Center: "@HUDgov reinstates full scope of the Fair Housing Act, prohibiting housing discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. This is a win for the LGBTQ community and housing advocates across the country!" [Tweet (, 2/11/21]

Erin Uritus, CEO, Out and Equal Workplace Advocates: "Unfortunately, housing discrimination is the lived reality for many LGBTQ people in our country - and this is especially true for the transgender community. Thankfully, President Biden is bringing the full force of the federal government to bear so that no LGBTQ American will be denied a roof over their head just because of who they are or who they love." [Via HousingWire (, 2/11/21]

PFLAG National: "At the direction of @POTUS, @HUDgov will enforce the #FairHousingAct to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. Thank you for seeing and protecting our #LGBTQ+ loved ones and their families!" [Tweet (, 2/11/21]

Dylan Waguespack, Public Policy Director, True Colors United: "Certainly the Obama administration made a lot of headway into ending housing discrimination against LGBTQ people, and it's really good to see that progress picked back up." [Via The Washington Post (, 2/11/21]


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Content Archived: January 1, 2023