WASHINGTON (7/15/15)--Guidance on better serving and avoiding discrimination of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans seeking U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) housing has been issued by the agency.
The guidance is meant to clarify HUD’s Equal Access Rule, which was published in 2012 to ensure HUD housing programs are open to all eligible individuals regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or marital status.
The guidance applies to multifamily and insured housing programs and clarifies that a determination of eligibility for housing that is assisted by HUD or subject to a mortgage insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) shall be made in accordance with the eligibility requirements provided for such a program by HUD, and be made available without regard to actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity or marital status.
The guidance also clarifies that owners of HUD-assisted or HUD-insured housing, approved lenders in an FHA mortgage insurance program and recipients of HUD funds may not inquire about the sexual orientation or gender identity of an applicant or occupant of HUD-assisted or HUD-insured housing.
According to HUD, violations could result in a determination that the owner has failed to comply with program requirements, which can lead to sanctions that HUD determines appropriate to remedy the violation.