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HUD Guidance Addresses Discrimination Against Transgendered Borrowers

Phil Hall
Feb 25, 2015

The U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) has issued a guidance that it says is designed to help transgender individuals seeking a home loan.

The guidance is a clarification of the Equal Access to Housing in HUD Programs Regardless of Orientation or Gender Identity Rule, which the Department released in 2012 as a means of ensuring that all HUD-related programs are open to eligible borrowers regardless of actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity or marital status. This is the only federal rule aimed at helping LGBT Americans to fight housing discrimination, as the Fair Housing Act has never been amended to include LGBT Americans among its protected classes, while less than half of the states have their own laws prohibiting housing discrimination against LGBT individuals.

Under the guidance, equal access on housing that is financed or insured by HUD must be made available regardless of the actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity or marital status of the borrower. It also prohibits owners and operators of HUD-funded housing or housing with financing insured by HUD from making inquiries about an applicant’s sexual orientation or gender identity or denying housing on that basis. Furthermore, sexual orientation and gender identity cannot be factored into any lending decision when it comes to getting an FHA-insured mortgage.

HUD also issued a new guidance on the best way to provide assistance to transgender persons in single-sex shelter facilities.

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