Statement by NCLR Federal Policy Director Maya Rupert, Esq.
(Baltimore, MD, January 28, 2012)—Today, the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced an important new rule that greatly increases protections against housing discrimination for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community. HUD announced the new rule at the 24th National Conference on LGBTQ Equality: Creating Change, a conference hosted by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.

The new rule, which will be published next week and go into effect 30 days after that, makes several critical changes to current housing and housing-related programs including: prohibiting owners and operators of HUD-assisted or HUD-insured housing from discriminating against an applicant or occupant of a residence based on sexual orientation or gender identity; prohibiting all lenders offering Federal Housing Administration-insured mortgages from considering sexual orientation or gender identity in determining a borrower’s eligibility; and clarifying the definition of “family” to ensure that otherwise eligible participants in any HUD programs will not be excluded based on marital status, sexual orientation, or gender identity.

The National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) has been a lead partner with HUD as it works to ensure access to fair and affordable housing for the LGBTQ community. NCLR drafted comments on behalf of more than 30 LGBT, civil rights, and fair housing organizations that offered feedback on this new policy when it was initially proposed. In December 2011, NCLR co-hosted the first-ever federal summit along with HUD and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on LGBTQ elder housing.

Statement by NCLR Federal Policy Director Maya Rupert, Esq.:

“This rule is truly historic for the LGBTQ community and the impact it will have on all of our lives cannot be overstated. Thanks to the remarkable efforts of the Obama administration, and especially HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan and Assistant Secretary John Trasviña and their staffs, LGBTQ people and their families will now enjoy critical protections from housing discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. This will improve the lives of countless families and individuals across the country who no longer have to fear being denied housing because of who they are. We applaud HUD for its leadership and commitment to fairness and justice.”

The National Center for Lesbian Rights is a national legal organization committed to advancing the civil and human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and their families through litigation, public policy advocacy, and public education.
www.NCLRights.org .