Date Published: February 2012
On February 3, 2012, HUD published a final rule in the Federal Register entitled Equal Access to Housing in HUD Programs Regardless of Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity. This rule, published by HUD's Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity (FHEO), became effective on March 5, 2012. FHEO administers and enforces Federal laws and establishes policies that make sure all Americans have equal access to the housing of their choice.
This rule applies to all McKinney-Vento-funded housing programs, as well as to other housing assisted or insured by HUD. The rule creates a new regulatory provision that generally prohibits considering a person’s marital status, sexual orientation, or gender identity (a person’s internal sense of being male or female) in making homeless housing assistance available. As the nation’s housing agency, HUD’s goal is to ensure that their programs are carried out free from discrimination and are models for equal housing opportunity. Now lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people are guaranteed equal access to our housing and shelters.
HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan recently spoke about this new rule and other HUD actions to address LGBT housing discrimination issues at the 2012 National Gay and Lesbian Task Force “Creating Change” Conference. The Secretary stated “HUD is working to ensure that our housing programs are open to all” and that the rule states “clearly and unequivocally that LGBT individuals and couples have a right to live where they chose.” He also noted that the agency will work to provide training and guidance on this new rule.
Additional information for the public is available on HUD's Fair Housing for LGBT website and includes the rule, examples of violations, and where to turn for more information. In addition, FHEO set up an email address for LGBT fair housing questions: LGBTfairhousing@hud.gov.