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Equal Access to Housing Final Rule Published

March 08, 2012

HUD published a final rule in the Federal Register entitled Equal Access to Housing in HUD Programs Regardless of Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity. This rule became effective March 5, 2012.

This rule applies to all McKinney-Vento-funded housing programs, as well as to other housing assisted or insured by HUD. The rule creates a new regulatory provision that generally prohibits considering a person’s marital status, sexual orientation, or gender identity (a person’s internal sense of being male or female) in making homeless housing assistance available. As the nation’s housing agency, HUD’s goal is to ensure that their programs are carried out free from discrimination and are models for equal housing opportunity. Now lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people are guaranteed equal access to our housing and shelters.

HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan recently spoke about this new rule and other HUD actions to address LGBT housing discrimination issues at the 2012 National Gay and Lesbian Task Force “Creating Change” Conference. The Secretary stated “HUD is working to ensure that our housing programs are open to all” and that the rule states “clearly and unequivocally that LGBT individuals and couples have a right to live where they chose.” He also noted that the agency will work to provide training and guidance on this new rule.

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