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HUD Extends Housing Protections to LGBTQ Americans

February 11, 2021

The National Association of REALTORS® applauded an announcement Thursday by the Department of Housing and Urban Development that the agency will enforce the Fair Housing Act to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. HUD’s move effectively expands civil rights protections to LGBTQ Americans seeking housing and housing-related services. The decision follows an executive order from the Biden administration directing federal agencies to implement the Supreme Court’s interpretation in a June 2020 ruling that civil rights law prohibiting sex discrimination includes gender identity and sexual orientation.

HUD was the first federal agency to respond to the directive, according to The Washington Post.

“NAR has long championed LGBTQ rights in the housing market, first calling for expanded protections in 2009,” NAR President Charlie Oppler said in a statement. “There are few greater human needs than housing, and to exclude LGBTQ individuals from the protections afforded to other Americans is cruel. This is a just and historic decision by HUD.”

NAR’s Code of Ethics has required equal professional service without discrimination based on sexual orientation since 2009. In 2013, that obligation was extended to include gender identity. NAR opposes discrimination in housing based on race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, sexual orientation, gender identity, and national origin.

A HUD official told the Post that the department's move allows more people to file a fair housing complaint because individuals will no longer have to make a nonconformity allegation in discrimination claims.

Source: 
NAR; "HUD expands fair housing protections for transgender people," The Washington Post (Feb. 11, 2021)