The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) today announced that it will administer and enforce the Fair Housing Act to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
The move follows an executive order signed by President Joe Biden on his first day in office instructing agencies to enforce prohibitions on such discrimination.
“Housing discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity demands urgent enforcement action,” said Acting Assistant Secretary of FHEO, Jeanine M. Worden. “That is why HUD, under the Biden Administration, will fully enforce the Fair Housing Act to prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation. Every person should be able to secure a roof over their head free from discrimination, and the action we are taking today will move us closer to that goal.”
The HUD directive builds on the Obama administration’s efforts to end housing discrimination against gay and transgender people, protections that the Trump administration attempted to dismantle.
“Enforcing the Fair Housing Act to combat housing discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity isn’t just the right thing to do-it’s the correct reading of the law after Bostock,” said Damon Y. Smith, Principal Deputy General Counsel. “We are simply saying that the same discrimination that the Supreme Court has said is illegal in the workplace is also illegal in the housing market.”
The new policy applies to all complaints filed after Jan. 20, 2020 — one year before President Joe Biden signed the executive order.