Today at the White House Conference on Aging, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced guidance further implementing the Equal Access Rule. This 2012 rule protects all individuals accessing HUD programs and housing from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. The guidance issued today specifically addresses the impact of this rule on multifamily housing including supportive housing for the elderly. It provides important clarification that eligibility determinations for housing that is HUD assisted or subject to a mortgage insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) must be made without regard to actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity, or marital status. The guidance also clarifies that asking an occupant or loan applicant about their sexual orientation or gender identity is prohibited by the equal access rule.
LGBT people are at an increased risk for homelessness and housing insecurity. LGBT older adults are also more likely to live in poverty and have fewer support systems in place than their straight counterparts. Today's guidance is an important step towards ensuring that everyone has access to the housing and services they are entitled to including LGBT older adults.
HRC appreciates this guidance and the Department's clear continued commitment to protecting LGBT people from discrimination in housing. To read more about the guidance visit: http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/documents/huddoc?id=15-06hsgn.pdf. To learn more about issues facing LGBT older adults visit: hrc.org/aging.