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"Promoting Equal Access to Housing Regardless of Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity"

                 

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EQUAL ACCESS TO HOUSING IN HUD PROGRAMS REGARDLESS
OF SEXUAL ORIENTATION OR GENDER IDENTITY

Click Here to View the LGBT Rule

The Equal Access to Housing in HUD Programs regardless of Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity Rule "LGBT Rule" was implemented on March 5, 2012, to ensure that HUD's core programs are open to all eligible individuals and families regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or marital status.

Implementation of the LGBT Rule followed published findings that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) individuals and families were being arbitrarily excluded from housing opportunities in the private sector.

The new HUD rule prohibits discrimination in housing by federal fund recipients on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity and precludes owners and operators of HUD-assisted housing or housing whose financing is insured by HUD from inquiring about the sexual orientation or gender identitiy of an applicant or occupant of a dwelling, whether renter-or owner-occupied.  The rule covers rental assistance and homeownership programs, including Federal Housing Administration (FHA) mortgage insurance programs; community development programs; and public and assisted housing programs.

The LGBT Rule does not prohibit any individual from voluntarily self identifying his or her own sexual orientation or gender identity nor does it prohibit otherwise lawful inqwuiries of an applicant or occupant's sex for the limited purpose of determining placement or meeting occupancy requirements.

However, the new rule makes explicit that perceived (as well as actual) sexual orientation, gender identity and marital status cannot be used as factors for determining eligibility for HUD-assisted housing or for FHA-insured housing and provides sanctions for violators.

ENFORCEMENT

The Arkansas Fair Housing Commission and HUD may pursue an enforcement action upon violations of the Fair Housing Act under the LGBT Rule, such as discrimination based on nonconformity with gender stereotypes or discrimination based on perceived disability.  A housing provider found to have violated the Fair Housing Act may be liable for actual damages, injunctive and other equitable relief, civil penalties and attorney's fees.

Additionally, housing providers may be subject to other HUD enforcement actions for program requirement violations.  Violations may be reported to the HUD administering program office (e.g. the Office of Public and Indian Housing, the Office of Community Planning and Development, etc.).  Program participants who fail or refuse to comply with regulatory requirements will be subject to sanctions and penalties for program requirement violations as provided for under the applicable program, including the withholding of HUD assistance.

FILING A COMPLAINT

If you believe your fair housing rights have been violated under the new LGBT Rule, click here  to file a complaint with the Commission.

You may also contact the Commission office at:

101 E. Capitol Avenue, Suite 212
Little Rock, Arkansas 72201
Phone: 501.682.3247 (FAIR) ◊ 800.340.9108
Fax:  501.682.3271

Additionally, you may contact HUD regarding program violations:

In Arkansas:

Little Rock Field Office
425 West Capitol Avenue, Suite 1000
Little Rock, Arkansas 72201-3488
Telephone:  501.918.5700

Nationwide:

Fair Housing Assistance Program Division
Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity
Department of Housing and Urban Development
451 7th Street S.W., Room 5206
Washington, D.C. 20410-2333; TTY 800.877.8339

Related Links

Arkansas Fair Housing Commission

Carol Johnson, Director

101 E. Capitol Avenue, Suite 212
Little Rock, Arkansas 72201
(501) 682-3247 · (800) 340-9108
(501) 682-3271 Fax

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