HUD to Officially Ban Anti-LGBT Discrimination in Federal Housing Programs
Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan announced on Saturday that his agency will codify its proposed rule that would ban anti-LGBT discrimination in federal housing programs next week.
"LGBT discrimination is real and we must do something about it," he said at the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force’s annual Creating Change conference in Baltimore.
He received a standing ovation as he took the stage and when he announced the pending codification. "LGBT individuals and couples have the right to live where they choose," said Donovan. "This is an idea whose time has come."
Donovan first announced the proposal last June in regards to HUD-funded programs and Federal Housing Authority-backed mortgages. HUD, which hosted the first-ever federal summit on housing for LGBT Americans in December, announced in June 2010 that prospective grant recipients must comply with local and state anti-discrimination laws that include both sexual orientation and gender identity and expression.
Donovan specifically referred to Michelle DeShane, a lesbian woman who wanted to add her partner Mitch, a transgender man, to her housing voucher in his speech. The DeShanes’ local housing authority denied the request because the couple did not fit into its definition of family. The agency referred the DeShanes to another agency in a neighboring jurisdiction.
"That is just wrong," said Donovan. "No one should be subject to that kind of treatment or denied housing assistance because of their gender identity."