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HUD Rules

Equal access to housing in HUD programs

By Ted Thurn
Hud

While it might appear that legislative work for LGBTQ civil rights is stalled at the national level, federally assisted programs are advancing protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity in housing. Of special note are rules that have been issued by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to ensure that every person participating in its programs has equal access without being arbitrarily excluded.

>> “Equal Access to Housing in HUD Programs Regardless of Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity,” issued February 3, 2012.
This rule requires that a determination of the eligibility for housing that is assisted by HUD or subject to a mortgage insured by the Federal Housing Administration shall be made in accordance with HUD’s eligibility requirements and without regard to actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity or marital status. The rule also includes definitions of sexual orientation and gender identity.

>> “Equal Access in Accordance with an Individual’s Gender Identity in Community Planning and Development Programs” (Gender Identity Rule), issued September 21, 2016.
This rule ensures that all individuals have equal access to many of the Department’s core shelter programs in accordance with their gender identity. Providers that use funds awarded through HUD’s Office of Community Planning and Development (CPD) are required to provide all individuals, including transgender individuals and other individuals who do not identify with the sex they were assigned at birth, with access to programs, benefits, services and accommodations in accordance with their gender identity without being subjected to intrusive questioning or being asked to provide documentation.

>> “Equal Access to Housing in HUD’s Native American and Native Hawaiian Programs—Regardless of Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity,” issued November 17, 2016.
This rule applies the same equal access provisions from the first rule to HUD’s Native American and Native Hawaiian programs. These programs are also required to make a determination of eligibility for housing assisted by HUD or subject to a mortgage insured by HUD in accordance with the department’s eligibility requirements and without regard to actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity or marital status.

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Ted Thurn (tthurn@irem.org) is director of government affairs at IREM Headquarters in Chicago.

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