Statement by NCLR Policy Director Maya Rupert, Esq.

(Washington D.C., May 21, 2013)—John Trasviña, Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity (FHEO) at the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), will be leaving HUD on May 21, 2013 to become Dean of the University of San Francisco School of Law. Assistant Secretary Trasviña has served in the Obama administration since 2009 when he was unanimously confirmed by the Senate. Under his leadership, FHEO has undertaken perhaps the most significant steps to ensure equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people across the country of any federal agency in history.

Assistant Secretary Trasviña has been a dedicated advocate for access to fair housing for the LGBTQ community. Under his leadership, FHEO has been responsible for many historic efforts to address housing discrimination and housing needs in the LGBTQ community.

In 2010, FHEO announced that HUD would begin requiring all grant-seekers applying for funds from HUD to comply with any state and local laws prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Later that year, FHEO announced that it would begin protecting transgender and gender nonconforming people under the Fair Housing Act’s prohibition against discrimination based on sex. In September 2010, NCLR co-hosted a webinar with FHEO staff, including Assistant Secretary Trasviña, that educated HUD staff and housing providers on their new obligations to protect transgender and gender nonconforming people under federal law.

In a groundbreaking development, in 2012 FHEO announced the historic HUD LGBTQ Equal Access Rule. That rule prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, or marital status in all HUD and HUD-assisted housing programs and services, including FHA-insured mortgages and Section 8 housing. This rule represents the most comprehensive LGBTQ nondiscrimination rule enacted by a federal agency to date.

Statement by NCLR Policy Director Maya Rupert, Esq.:

“John Trasviña has been a tremendous leader, ally, and partner in the fight for access to fair housing for the LGBTQ community. His amazing leadership and tireless dedication to equality have forever changed the lives of LGBTQ people and families across the country. I consider myself fortunate to have had the chance to work with him and to call him a friend. We wish him all the luck in the world in this next chapter in his life.”