LITTLE BOXES

U.S. Dept. Of Housing Smacks Down Anti-LGBT Landlords

Because the federal Fair Housing Act doesn’t explicitly prohibit housing discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, some people think it’s OK to refuse lodging or residence to LGBTs—but it’s not and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has started cracking down on people who do.

Not only has HUD followed up on 114 complaints of LGBT housing discrimination over the last two years (effectively tripling its response rate to such complaints), but they’ve also started a national ad campaign against gender based housing discrimination, a study to determine the statistics behind anti-LGBT housing discrimination nationwide and a web page where discriminated-against LGBTs can file official complaints.

They’ve also made sure to pay special attention to the transgender population, 19 percent of which has been denied housing at one point for their gender identity with another 19 percent who have gone homeless altogether.

We really gotta get that federal Fair Housing Act updated though. We mean, it’s 2011… get with the times, people.

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7 Comments

  • Cam

    While I’ve been disappointed overall in Obama’s seeming lack of enthusiasm for our rights. I have to say that I am pleased with the shift in attitude in the govt. agencies the White House seems to be shepparding in. Thumbs up on this one.

  • Max the Communist

    It’s about fucking time.

  • reason

    @Max the Communist: The article said two years, the president hasn’t yet been in office for three, so they have been at it for a while. It just goes to show that there are a lot of things that the admin is doing on our behalf that we are not even aware of.

  • Mike in Asheville

    @reason: Good point.

  • Zoe Brain

    From Whitehouse.gov:

    * Through its notices of funding availability, HUD required recipients
    of approximately $3.5 billion in HUD funding to comply with state and local laws that
    prohibit sexual orientation and gender identity housing discrimination.

    Except that most states don’t have laws that prohibit such discrimination. Even GLB-friendly states such as Mass. are perfectly OK with discrimination against T’s. Tennessee even makes it illegal for local laws to protect them – they had to change state law for that.

    As the administration well knows.

  • Nice Sean

    This is something we really need to address, as all LGB and especially T people are at a higher risk of homelessness to begin with. So yay for the government improving it, and I don’t know whether it is Obama or not, but I do believe it is easier for government agencies to be pro equality when the president acts with some dignity towards gay people rather than being against them.

  • John Colby

    HUD is selling the LGBT community a bill of goods. This new HUD rule won’t protect many victims of LGBT housing discrimination. Consider the Mission Gardens Section 8 apartment complex in Santa Cruz, California.

    At Mission Gardens, a gang of adult LGBT haters stalk those they perceive to be LGBT. Using the crudest of LGBT stereotypes, they claim perceived LGBT residents endanger Mission Gardens children. They solicit petitions to wrongfully evict perceived LGBT residents without good cause. They use LGBT slurs and vandalize cars with LGBT hate symbols.

    In short, this gang of LGBT haters try to run perceived LGBT residents out of Mission Gardens and off of the Section 8 program, to make them homeless.

    The John Stewart Company which manages Mission Gardens stands by doing nothing. Their attorney claims that the management cannot be the monitor of pleasant interactions between residents. They deny LGBT harassment caught on digital audio. They deny, deflect and lie.

    Worse, HUD has been aware of the LGBT hate situation at Mission Gardens since August 2009. Entreaties about this LGBT hate have been made to HUD headquarters in Washington D.C., and recently landed on the desk of HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan.

    Yet still HUD has not produced results. When HUD allows such odious acts of LGBT hate at Mission Gardens, how can anyone in the LGBT community take HUD seriously about its new LGBT housing discrimination rule.

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