HUD reiterates protections for LGBTS in lending, shelters

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has issued two sets of guidances intended to clarify the Equal Screen Shot 2015-02-23 at 2.29.48 PMAccess to Housing in HUD Programs Regardless of Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity Rule. The clarifications are intended to make it easier for LGBT people applying for home loans and for transgender men and women seeking access to homeless shelters.

The Equal Access Rule, published in 2012, ensures that housing across HUD programs is open to everyone, regardless of actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity or marital status.

The guidance on eligibility for HUD assisted and insured housing programs, makes is “clear that housing that is financed or insured by HUD must be made available” regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, real or perceived.

It also prohibits those who own and/or operate HUD-funded or HUD-insured housing from asking about an applicant’s sexual orientation and from denying housing on that basis.

Sexual orientation and gender identity “should not and cannot be part of any lending decision when it comes to getting an FHA-insured mortgage,” according to a HUD press release.

The second guidance focused on how to serve transgenders in single-sex shelter facilities, which will “help to address the fact that almost 40 percent of homeless youth are LGBT and the majority of them report harassment, difficulty or even sexual assault when trying to access homeless shelters,” the press release said. “This guidance states that a transgender client’s or potential client’s own views with respect to personal health and safety deserve serious consideration when placing the person in a single sex shelter.”

The guidance addresses appropriate placement of transgenders in single-sex facilities and it guides providers on the best way to address privacy and safety concerns in shelters without segregating or isolating trans women and men.

HUD Secretary Julian Castro said, “It’s an injustice that any transgender person is mistreated when seeking help. We issued this guidance so that shelter providers treat these Americans with the dignity they deserve. This measure is an important step in shaping a future where every person is accepted, respected and housed.”

 

—  Tammye Nash

Lending a Hand in Pro-Equality Elections in Wisconsin

The following post comes from Deputy Legislative Director David Stacy. David is just one of 30 HRC staff that will be on the ground in 16 states by Election Day, working with HRC-endorsed candidates and engaging our membership about the upcoming elections:

Since landing on the ground in Madison, Wisconsin on Sunday, I’ve been going full speed on volunteer recruitment for Get Out The Vote efforts.  Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI), one of only 14 Senators to vote against the so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) – and with the late Senator Edward M. Kennedy, endorsed marriage equality before any other Senator was willing to – is in a dogfight with a first-time candidate who thinks “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is working well.

The University of Wisconsin, Madison campus of more than 40,000 students and the state capital, Madison, will be critical for Feingold to secure the votes he needs to win the race.

Feingiold has been campaigning hard across the state and today he was in Madison.  I joined him for a walk-through of the Madison Area Technical College campus.  He was incredibly well received by the crowd.  One of the cafeteria workers was so excited she covered herself with about 10 Feingold stickers, from head to toe.

Wisconsin has other races that are important to the LGBT community. Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), one of only three openly gay Members of Congress, is also on the ballot.  While favored to win, she is campaigning hard and working to turn out the vote to pro-equality candidates throughout the state.

This year, Wisconsin has continued to be the battleground that it was in previous election cycles.  The choices for Wisconisn voters are clear.

Paid for by the Human Rights Campaign PAC and authorized by Feingold Senate Committee and Tammy Baldwin for Congress


Human Rights Campaign | HRC Back Story

—  admin