On February 11th, 2021, shortly after President Joe Biden took office, the Department of Housing and Urban Development announced new protections for members of the LGBTQ community! This decision came after President Biden issued an executive order directing all federal agencies to comply with a recent Supreme Court ruling, which prohibits discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation.
This is exciting news as HUD is the first department to respond to the President’s executive order and make changes to protect the LGBTQ community from discrimination!
What Are the New Protections
While HUD already enforces protections outlined in the Fair Housing Act, this new announcement extends the definition of “sex discrimination” to include discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Further, this also applies to any agencies that take part in HUD programs or receive HUD funding. Extending those definitions allows HUD to investigate any discrimination complaints that fall under those categories and extend the Fair Housing Act’s protections in general.
What this Extension Means
Extending the definitions of sex discrimination also means that HUD can now investigate past housing discrimination complaints that now fall under the Fair Housing Act protections. As of this article, that accounts for 197 incidents that HUD can now legally investigate.
Before this announcement, LGBTQ individuals were not protected from housing discrimination based on their gender identity or sexual orientation unless state laws explicitly prohibited such discrimination. As a result, LGBTQ individuals have historically been denied housing or set to unreasonably high standards to qualify for funding. Fortunately, these individuals are now protected by the Fair Housing Act.
This policy is one of the most expansive efforts to combat discrimination towards LGBTQ individuals since the Obama Administration, and On Q Financial, Inc. is eager to help even more people achieve their dream of homeownership!
Why Fair Housing Laws are Important
The LGBTQ community disproportionately faces housing discrimination, with transgender individuals, unfortunately, affected the most. Individuals struggle to find stable housing and are even turned away from shelters. A 2014 HUD study concluded that housing applications favored heterosexual couples over same-sex couples by 16%. Same-sex couples also faced adverse treatment, including availability, fees, and stricter application requirements. Older same-sex couples also faced issues applying for senior living facilities. Luckily, the new executive order and HUD guidelines will now allow millions of Americans to have recourse under federal law.
On Q Financial, Inc.’s Commitment to Inclusiveness
On Q Financial, Inc. believes the Dream is Inclusive TM and is committed to making the dream of homeownership a reality for everyone. Therefore, we are proud of HUD for making this announcement. We believe every person has the right to have a roof over their head, and this policy helps them move towards that goal. If you have questions about applying for your dream home, reach out today.
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