Yesterday, new Obama Administration housing regulations went into effect strengthening protections for transgender and LGBT people. The regulations, announced by U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan, make discrimination on the basis of gender identity and sexual orientation in federal housing programs illegal.
The new rule, having completed a mandatory 30-day waiting period, updates current federal housing and housing-related programs prohibiting owners and operators of federally-funded or federally-insured housing, as well as lenders offering federally-insured mortgages from discriminating based on gender identity or sexual orientation; and clarifying the definition of “family” to ensure that LGBT families are not excluded from HUD programs.
With the rule now in effect, NCTE released a new resource to assist transgender people in understanding their rights. NCTE Policy Counsel Harper Jean Tobin said, “These regulations are a significant advancement in fair housing access for transgender people. The next step is ensuring that transgender people know their rights and can educate housing administrators about them.”
The guide, called “Know Your Rights: Fair Housing and Transgender People,” identifies transgender protections in current law, and outlines the process for reporting discrimination claims.
Transgender and gender non-conforming respondents from the groundbreaking National Transgender Discrimination Survey show:
- Nineteen percent had been refused a home or apartment,
- Eleven percent had been evicted because of their gender identity or expression,
- Nineteen percent of transgender people have been homeless at some point in their lives; and,
- Twenty-nine percent of those had been turned away from homeless shelters and a majority were harassed when they could get in to a shelter.
“It is our hope,” Tobin said, “that this guide helps empower transgender people to assert their rights, and add to the strength of the regulations and the recent guidance on the Fair Housing Act to ensure that no one is denied housing because of who they are.”