Fair Housing vs. Unfair Housing

Do you know the difference?

Knowing the difference between fair housing and unfair housing isn't as obvious as you might think. This blog aims to present a variety of important and interesting fair housing issues.

If you're an apartment professional, avoid costly mistakes by reading the stories of others who — even with good intentions — learned compliance lessons the hard way. (For the easy way, click here.)

If you live in an apartment, get familiar with your rights when it comes to housing discrimination, as well as your options for seeking justice.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Federal Government Takes Aim at LGBT Housing Inequality

The Obama administration recently announced proposals that would give individuals greater rights when it comes to their choice of housing, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Chief among these initiatives is a proposed rule aimed at ensuring that the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community is included in federal housing programs.

This would be accomplished by:
  • making clear that the term "family," as used to describe eligible beneficiaries of public housing and voucher programs (which currently provide assistance to over three million families), includes LGBT applicants;
  • requiring program participants to comply with state and local fair housing laws that ban discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity; and
  • specifying that any FHA-insured mortgage loan must be based only on the credit-worthiness of a borrower, without regard to characteristics such as sexual orientation and gender identity.

In addition to the proposed rule, HUD announced it will commission the first-ever national study of discrimination against members of the LGBT community in both the rental and sale of housing.

Missing from the current set of proposals is an amendment to the Fair Housing Act to add sexual orientation and gender identity as protected classes. Will this come next? Should it?

What do you think?

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