U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan today announced a broad initiative to ensure that the department's housing programs do not discriminate based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
According to the White House, "The initiatives announced today will be a proposed rule that will provide the opportunity for public comment." The initiative and discrimination study will be fast-tracked, according to the agency, and the rule will:
— clarify that the term "family" as used to describe eligible beneficiaries of our public housing and Housing Choice Voucher programs include otherwise eligible lesbian, gay, bi-sexual or transgender (LGBT) individuals and couples. HUD's public housing and voucher programs help more than three million families to rent an affordable home. The Department's intent to propose new regulations will clarify family status to ensure its subsidized housing programs are available to all families, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
— require grantees and those who participate in the Department's programs to comply with local and state non-discrimination laws that cover sexual orientation or gender identity; and
— specify that any FHA-insured mortgage loan must be based on the credit-worthiness of a borrower and not on unrelated factors or characteristics such as sexual orientation or gender identity.
Said Donovan: "The evidence is clear that some are denied the
opportunity to make housing choices in our nation based on who they are
and that must end. President Obama and I are determined that a
qualified individual and family will not be denied housing choice based
on sexual orientation or gender identity."