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.

Friday, January 21, 2011

HUD Pushes Forward With LGBT Proposals

In October 2009, I blogged about how the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced certain proposals aimed at ensuring that people can participate in federal housing programs without regard to their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Yesterday, HUD followed up with an announcement that shows the department is committed to turning its proposals into reality:
  1. HUD's proposed rule. HUD issued a proposed rule that takes certain measures aimed at protecting renters and homeowners from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Among the measures are:

    • a provision clarifying 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;

    • a provision broadly defining gender identity as "actual or perceived gender-related characteristics" (emphasis added); and

    • a provision 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.

    The rule ("Equal Access to Housing in HUD Programs — Regardless of Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity") will be published in the Federal Register on Monday, January 24, at which time public comments will be accepted for a 60-day period.

  2. HUD's first-ever national study. HUD announced it will conduct the first-ever national study of discrimination against members of the LGBT community in both the rental and sale of housing. In the past, HUD has conducted such a study only on the basis of race and color.


Annvi said...

This is awesome news!

John said...

HUD is selling the LGBT community a bill of goods. Consider the Mission Gardens Section 8 apartment complex in Santa Cruz, California.

At Mission Gardens an adult gang of LGBT haters stalk any residents they perceive to be LGBT. They use the crudest of LGBT stereotypes to claim perceived LGBT residents endanger Mission Gardens children. They solicit petitions to wrongfully evict perceived LGBT residents. These LGBT haters use LGBT slurs and vandalize cars with LGBT hate symbols.

The John Stewart Company which manages Mission Gardens refuses to protect perceived LGBT residents from this harassment. Their attorney claims the management is not responsible for monitoring pleasant interactions between residents. The John Stewart Company denies, deflects and lies to evade responsibility, even in the face of digitally recorded audio evidence.

Worse, HUD has been aware of the LGBT hate situation at Mission Gardens since August 2009. Entreaties have been made to HUD's Washington D.C. Headquarters, reaching the desk of FHEO Assistant Secretary John TrasviƱa and now HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan.

If HUD won't protect Mission Gardens residents from such blatant LGBT hate, how can the LGBT community expect HUD to deliver on their promises with their new LGBT housing discrimination rule?