Under the new guidance, HUD said it will be able to investigate complaints made under the Fair Housing Act of 1968 — which “prohibits this discrimination because of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, and disability” — that are made by people “who alleged discrimination because of gender identity or sexual orientation.” The department said it will also look into those types of complaints made since January 20, 2020, the day Biden signed his order.
“Housing discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity demands urgent enforcement action,” Jeanine M. Worden, the acting assistant secretary of HUD’s office Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, said in a statement. “Every person should be able to secure a roof over their head free from discrimination, and the action we are taking today will move us closer to that goal.”
The department said the action was needed because of “a number of housing discrimination studies which indicate that same-sex couples and transgender persons in communities across the country experience demonstrably less favorable treatment than their straight and cisgender counterparts when seeking rental housing.”
A number of LGBTQ advocacy groups applauded the administration’s new rule on Thursday, including the Human Rights Campaign, which said the policy will especially help transgender and LGBTQ people of color facing housing discrimination.