Monday, January 30, 2012

Another Obama Administration 'Crumb'- HUD Housing Nondiscrimination Rule To Be Enacted

The rainbow fixated on gay marriage only detractors of President Obama or busy selling out to the GOP were loud about hollering 'crumbs' every time the administration made regulatory or policy changes that positively impacted this community.

Well, here's another 'crumb' they can gripe and mumble incoherently to themselves about.   

The Federal Housing Administration announced today in a press release they have released the final text of HUD's new nondiscrimination rule that will prohibit discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation in several HUD programs including Title VIII based public housing and FHA backed loans.

It was also announced during the just concluded Creating Change conference in Baltimore by HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan.

According to HUD the new nondiscrimination rule will:
  • Requires owners and operators of HUD-assisted housing, or housing whose financing is insured by HUD, to make housing available without regard to the sexual orientation or gender identity of an applicant for, or occupant of, the dwelling, whether renter- or owner-occupied.  HUD will institute this policy in its rental assistance and homeownership programs, which include the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) mortgage insurance programs, community development programs, and public and assisted housing programs.
  • Prohibits lenders from using sexual orientation or gender identity as a basis to determine a borrower’s eligibility for FHA-insured mortgage financing.  FHA’s current regulations provide that a mortgage lender’s determination of the adequacy of a borrower’s income “shall be made in a uniform manner without regard to” specified prohibited grounds.  The rule will add actual or perceived sexual orientation and gender identity to the prohibited grounds to ensure FHA-approved lenders do not deny or otherwise alter the terms of mortgages on the basis of irrelevant criteria.
  • Clarifies that all otherwise eligible families, regardless of marital status, sexual orientation, or gender identity, will have the opportunity to participate in HUD programs. In the majority of HUD’s rental and homeownership programs the term “family” already has a broad scope, and includes a single person and families with or without children.  HUD’s rule clarifies that otherwise eligible families may not be excluded because one or more members of the family may be an LGBT individual, have an LGBT relationship, or be perceived to be such an individual or in such relationship.
  • Prohibits owners and operators of HUD-assisted housing or housing insured by HUD from asking about an applicant or occupant’s sexual orientation and gender identity for the purpose of determining eligibility or otherwise making housing available. In response to comments on the proposed rule, HUD has clarified this final rule to state that this provision does not prohibit voluntary and anonymous reporting of sexual orientation or gender identity pursuant to state, local, or federal data collection requirements.
The rule will be published in the Federal Register and will take effect 30 days after its publication.


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