Late last week the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced its proposed housing regulations that would protect gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people from discrimination. At this time, federal protections against housing discrimination do not cover gender identity and sexual orientation. A 60 day public comment period is required before the changes can be implemented.
If adopted, the proposal would prevent owners and landlords in HUD assisted or HUD insured housing from inquiring about applicants’ sexual orientation or gender identity. The proposed rules would also prohibit mortgage lenders insured by HUD from discriminating on the basis of gender orientation or sexual identity.
Rea Carey, Executive Director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, asserted, “These are critically important reforms given that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people remain particularly vulnerable in seeking or retaining housing due to widespread bias, discrimination and a lack of housing protections. We’re talking about one of the most fundamental needs a person can have: shelter.”