Human Rights Campaign Applauds Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Enforcement of the Fair Housing Act to Prohibit Discrimination Against LGBTQ People

by Viet Tran

HRC responded to the news that the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) will enforce the Fair Housing Act to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. This announcement is the first action by an agency implementing Bostock v. Clayton County per President Biden’s Executive Order signed on Day One of his presidency.

Today, thanks to the Department of Housing and Urban Development and President Biden, LGBTQ people can rest assured that if they are denied housing in an emergency or refused rental of an apartment because of their sexual orientation or gender identity they will have recourse under federal law. This announcement implementing the Supreme Court’s Bostock ruling and applying it to the Fair Housing Act will make a huge impact on the lives of LGBTQ people, particularly transgender people and LGBTQ people of color who face disproportionate rates of discrimination. From Day One, the Biden administration has made unprecedented and immediate changes to the lives of the 11 million LGBTQ people across the country and we look forward to continuing our work together with the president and his administration moving forward.

Alphonso David, President of the Human Rights Campaign

Consistent with President Biden’s Executive Order that implements the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Bostock v. Clayton County, HUD has determined that the Fair Housing Act’s prohibition on sex discrimination in housing includes discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. Accordingly, the memorandum put forth today by HUD will enforce the Fair Housing Act to prevent and combat such discrimination.

LGBTQ people face significant levels of discrimination in housing, which can take a variety of forms including being denied, charged higher rates for, or removed from housing solely because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. A 2013 study by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development showed that same-sex couples experience significant levels of discrimination when responding to advertised rental housing in metropolitan areas nationwide. In this study, heterosexual couples were favored over same-sex couples by sixteen percent. For transgender people, housing discrimination is even more prevalent. According to the 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey, nearly one quarter of transgender people report having experienced housing discrimination within the past year because of their gender identity.

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