Is HUD doing enough to be inclusive of all buyers/renters?

  • Yes (76%, 28 Votes)
  • No (24%, 9 Votes)

Total Voters: 37

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) recently announced regulations providing all eligible persons, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, be considered for HUD’s core housing programs.

The HUD Secretary reported that 40% of homeless youth identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT), and half of those have claimed their homelessness occurred as a result of being denied access to housing due to their sexual orientation. Further, one in five transgender people have been refused housing due to gender identity discrimination. It is due to troubling statistics such as these that HUD has undertaken its work to advance the civil rights of all buyers/renters.

The regulations include the following provisions:

  • owners and operators of HUD-assisted or HUD-insured housing are required to make their housing accessible without taking sexual orientation or gender identity into account, and are prohibited from asking about those identities;
  • lenders are prohibited from considering sexual orientation or gender identity when determining a borrower’s eligibility for Federal Housing Administration (FHA)-insured financing;  and
  • LGBT couples and individuals are now explicitly included under the term “family” as beneficiaries of HUD’s programs.

HUD also requires recipients of its discretionary funds, including non-profit organizations and local agencies, to obey their local and state non-discrimination laws. [For more information regarding civil rights in the housing industry, see the November 2011 first tuesday article, A new age for fair housing.]

These new regulations become effective March 2012.

first tuesday take:The beginning of fair housing in practice?  People often want to hate, or at least classify others so as to look down on them and bolster an imagined superiority.  Oh yes, laws exist against acting out these deeply-held prejudices.

Government is good at many things, and clearing up pollution in rivers, lake and minds is one of them.  Everyone is more comfortable afterward.  Once done, government moves on.

These new regulations will be digested in next month’s Legislative Watch.

RE: “HUD Secretary Donovan announces new regulations to ensure equal access to housing for all Americans regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity;” “Ending housing discrimination against LGBT Americans;” and “A place to call home” from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development