Alex Blaze

New HUD Rules Released on Housing Discrimination

Filed By Alex Blaze | January 21, 2011 9:30 AM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: DOMA, homophobic behavior, HUD, LGBT, public housing, transgender

Great new rules, if for anything they're setting the tone when it comes to housing:

housing-new-york.jpgMost notably, the rules would prohibit lenders from using sexual orientation or gender identity as a basis to determine a borrower's eligibility for Federal Housing Administration-insured mortgage financing.

The HUD also said that HUD programs would define "family" broadly, which seems to be a way to work around DOMA:

The proposed rule states, "The majority of HUD's rental housing and homeownership programs already interpret 'family' broadly. ... This proposed rule clarifies that families who otherwise eligible for HUD programs may not be excluded because one or more members of the family may be an LGBT individual or have an LGBT relationship or be perceived to be such an individual or in such relationship."

Also, they're going to ban housing programs from asking people about their sexual orientation and gender identity:

Finally, Donovan said the proposed rule "prohibits inquiries regarding sexual orientation or gender identity" in all HUD-assisted housing, or housing whose financing is insured by HUD. HUD Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity John TrasviƱa clarified that local public housing authorities would be required to follow the new rules.

Now whether and how this is going to be enforced is another. All I know, as someone who lives in public housing (although in another country), is that I'd be leery of the housing manager for our neighborhood asking too much about what the relationship between Alberto and me is. While kicking us out would be hard, there are other things she could do make life unpleasant.

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Rick Sutton | January 21, 2011 3:54 PM

I'm in this business, Alex. This is HUGE.

And it's something that the Repubs can't really mess with, because if they do, it'll slow down mortgage apps and HUD Community apps (rentals). And we all know who funds GOP, Inc. these days: banks.

It's a delicious FYVM to the right-wingers. Not a damned thing they can do to stop it, unless they put some very fragile big banks on life support again.

The Federal Register comment period ends in March. The regulators really do look at the number of comments. It's open to anyone.

Elections do have consequences. This one will be around for the rest of our lives.