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January 28, 2012

Category: Federal Advocacy, Administrative Advocacy

HRC Statement on New HUD Non-Discrimination Regulations

WASHINGTON – Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan announced new regulations aimed at addressing discrimination in federal housing programs would become official this week.  The draft regulations were announced in January 2011 and Secretary Donovan made the announcement today at the Creating Change conference in Baltimore.

"The new regulations from HUD will help protect LGBT people and our families in one of the most fundamental aspects of life - finding and keeping a home," said HRC President Joe Solmonese. "This common sense action will help some of the most vulnerable people in our community in trying to make homes for themselves and their families."

The new rule makes three important changes to federal regulations. First, it includes language that ensures same-sex couples and their children are recognized as families covered by HUD programs, including affordable housing assistance. Second it prohibits owners and operators of HUD-assisted housing, or housing whose financing is insured by HUD, from inquiring about the sexual orientation or gender identity of an applicant or basing a decision on their perceived sexual orientation or gender identity. Third it prohibits consideration of factors other than creditworthiness, including sexual orientation and gender identity, in the awarding of mortgage loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration.

As part of its Blueprint for Positive Change, HRC submitted more than 70 recommendations for executive action which would improve the lives of LGBT Americans to the Obama-Biden Presidential Transition Team. Since the administration began, HRC staff have met and communicated with numerous federal agencies on how to implement these policies. Addressing discrimination in federal housing programs was part of HRC's recommendations for HUD.

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.

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