HUDBlast February 13, 2012

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New Federal Protections Based on Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity & Marital Status

The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in rental, sales and lending on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability and familial status.  While the Fair Housing Act has not been amended, U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan announced new regulations intended to ensure that HUD's core housing programs are open to all eligible persons regardless of:

  • Sexual orientation

  • Gender identity or

  • Marital status

Approximately 20 states, and the District of Columbia, and more than 150 cities, towns and counties across the nation already have protections that specifically prohibit housing discrimination against Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual or Transgendered (LGBT) individuals.

This Final Rule identifies new program requirements for HUD’s rental assistance and homeownership programs, which include the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) mortgage insurance programs, community development programs, and public and assisted housing programs.

The new regulations were published as final in the Federal Register last week.  These changes will go into effect 30 days after the rule is published. 

The Final Rule published as Equal Access to Housing in HUD Programs – Regardless of Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity, makes the following provisions: 

·         Requires owners and operators of HUD-assisted housing, or housing whose financing is insured by HUD, to make housing available without regard to the of sexual orientation, gender identity, or marital status. 

·         Clarifies that all otherwise eligible families, regardless of marital status, sexual orientation, or gender identity, will have the opportunity to participate in HUD programs.

·         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. ( Note:  In response to comments on the proposed rule, HUD has clarified this final rule to state that this provision does not prohibit voluntary reporting of sexual orientation or gender identity)


HUD’s Housing division has not issued any official guidance regarding this new rule and how it will affect programs governed by HUD Handbook 4350.3 Revision 1.  Please be on the lookout for any future guidance and/or clarifications.

To view the final rule, go to HUD’s web site at:

To view the press release, visit HUD’s web site at

To view information explaining LGBT discrimination, visit HUD’s web site at See  .

Join RBD for Training in the Following Cities

We’ve designed an entirely new curriculum to ensure that property management professionals get the “biggest bang” for their training dollars.   The new classes offer something for everyone! 

In the TRACS/EIV training class, we will discuss the “secret” to successful TRACS processing.  In addition, we will discuss clarifications and changes provided by HUD regarding TRACS submissions, processing new certifications using the new 50059, the new voucher submission process - including paperless voucher submission - and the new method for recording repayments. In the afternoon, we’ll provide you with a few ideas to make the use of EIV faster, easier and more consistent. 

In the HUD Occupancy/Fair Housing training class, we’ll review some recent changes to HUD’s regulatory requirements including how properties may be affected by the change to the PBCA contracts.  We’ll also discuss changes to the Management and Occupancy Review and go over some of the new questions on the form.  In the afternoon, we will explain general fair housing requirements.  We dedicate a large portion of this session to discussion about fair housing and Section 504 protections for people with disabilities.  The class includes best practice tips to assist you when addressing some of the more complex fair housing concerns like complying with HUD’s requirements for live-in aides and verifying and addressing the need for companion/service animals.

Training includes sample forms, notices and policies that can be used to help you develop your own custom documents.

To register for training, visit our web site at of contact our Training Coordinator (Larue Marin) at 770-426-0577 or email her at


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RBD does not act as a legal advisor nor as a regulatory governing agency.  The recipient should understand that any materials or comments contained herein are not designed for, nor should be relied upon as a source of legal guidance or as a final authority with respect to any particular circumstance. Ross Business Development, Inc. makes no warranty of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose or any other warranty of any type. Owners and management should seek competent legal advice in developing and carrying out policies and procedures.  While we have been diligent in our efforts to provide comprehensive and accurate regulatory information, Ross Business Development, Inc. shall not be responsible for errors or inaccuracies.