Housing & Urban Development (HUD) Unveils Proposed Housing Protections for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender People

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Inga Sarda-Sorensen, Director of Communications
(Office) 646.358.1463
isorensen@theTaskForce.org

Housing & Urban Development (HUD) Unveils Proposed Housing Protections for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender People

Findings from groundbreaking survey on transgender discrimination from National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and National Center for Transgender Equality cited as need for such protections

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) today announced proposed housing-related regulatory changes
explicitly protecting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT)
people. Data from the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and National
Center for Transgender Equality's forthcoming survey on transgender
discrimination in the United States was cited as evidence demonstrating
the dire need for housing protections for the transgender community.

The new rules would provide definitions for sexual orientation and
gender identity for HUD programs and services; prohibit the owners or
landlords of housing that is either HUD-assisted or HUD-insured from
asking an applicant about sexual orientation or gender identity; prevent
lenders of a mortgage insured by HUD from discriminating based on the
real or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity of applicants;
and make clear that participation in HUD-supported housing programs like
the Section 8 voucher program is available to LGBT families who meet
other qualification requirements.

The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and its New Beginning
Initiative partners work with HUD and all the federal agencies on
nondiscrimination protections for LGBT people and families. The Task
Force through the New Beginning Initiative, a coalition of 26 local and
national organizations, works to bring about changes for LGBT people
such as the 2010 census reporting same-sex marriages and gender-marker
changes on new passports.

Statement by Rea Carey, Executive Director
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

"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. Everyone should be able to
obtain affordable housing free from discrimination, have a safe place
to live and a roof over their head.

"We've heard painful stories over the years from lesbians, gay men,
bisexual and transgender people who were discriminated against when
trying to secure a home. These reforms will go a long way toward ending
an injustice that has had such a profound and far-reaching negative
impact on people's lives. What this means for our community is greater
access to and protections for safe and secure housing. HUD plays a major
role in low-income housing programs and the private mortgage market.
These proposed steps would do much to help our families. LGBT low-income
families regardless of where they live will have equal access to HUD
housing programs. LGBT people will be judged based on credit-worthiness
for mortgages without regard to sexual orientation or gender identity.
And, LGBT families would be included in the definition of family for
HUD-related programs.

"We thank the Obama administration and HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan
for these proposed changes and look forward to full implementation."

Forthcoming and groundbreaking national survey indicates pervasive housing discrimination among transgender people

In a forthcoming and groundbreaking survey of transgender
discrimination in the United States, the National Gay and Lesbian Task
Force and the National Center for Transgender Equality found that high
unemployment, low incomes and high levels of housing insecurity all
point to the need for safe, affordable public housing for transgender
people. Currently there are no federal protections against housing
discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation.

Nineteen percent of survey respondents reported being denied an
apartment or home because of their gender identity. In another question,
19 percent reported being homeless at some point in their lives. In
terms of homeownership, transgender people were less than half as likely
to own a home as the general population.

Upcoming full report of the national transgender discrimination survey data to be released at the National Conference on LGBT Equality: Creating Change early next month.

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The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force builds the political power of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community from the ground up. We do this by training activists, organizing broad-based campaigns to defeat anti-LGBT referenda and advance pro-LGBT legislation, building the organizational capacity of our movement and generating groundbreaking research through our Policy Institute.

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