The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has made it clear that it wants to take the lead among federal agencies in promoting equality and inclusion for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community. On January 30, HUD announced new regulations intended to ensure that HUD’s core housing programs are open to all eligible persons, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. These regulations, called the Equal Access to Housing in HUD Programs – Regardless of Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity regulation, makes housing available for everyone by prohibiting discrimination and promoting diversity. There are four basic principles of the policy:
- General equal access provision. makes housing available and is new in the final rule, and acts as a catch-all for what’s not covered elsewhere.
- Clarification on the definition of family.
- Prohibition of inquiry of sexual orientation and gender identity for the purposes of determining eligibility. This provision does not prohibit voluntary and anonymous reporting of sexual orientation or gender identity that can aid in data collection requirements.
- The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) cannot discriminate. Final rule adds sexual orientation and gender identity
This rule will affect a number of lives across the nation and will cross economic lines as well. It communicates that housing discrimination is not acceptable. For more information, watch HUD’s webinar on the new regulation, below.