The US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is making changes to regulations that benefit LGBT families. HUD administers public housing.
According to today’s announcement, HUD will submit a proposed rule that makes three important changes to federal regulations. First, it includes language that ensures same-sex couples and their children are recognized as families covered by HUD programs, including affordable housing assistance. Second it requires organizations that administer HUD grants to abide by state and local laws that prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Third it prohibits consideration of factors other than creditworthiness, including sexual orientation and gender identity, in the awarding of mortgage loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration. In addition, HUD announced that the Department will conduct the first-ever nationwide survey of discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in housing.
This is really interesting news, particularly as ENDA makes its way through Congress. Housing discrimination typically goes hand in hand with employment as per the Allegheny County non-discrimination ordinance. Embedding this level of protection into federal regulation when sexual orientation and gender identity are not federally protected classes is a very concrete step forward.
Another very interesting angle might be in HUD funded homeless service programs which aren't always on the ball when it comes to delivery of services to our community.
There's more. The Department of Health and Human Services is creating a resource center for LGBT senior citizens.
The LBGT Resource Center will help community-based organizations understand the unique needs and concerns of older LGBT individuals and assist them in implementing programs for local service providers, including providing help to LGBT caregivers who are providing care for an older partner with health or other challenges.
More good news, especially here in Allegheny County which does have an aging population. I've heard anecdotally that this a very underserved segment of the LGBT community so perhaps this might trickle down to local providers.
If you still need to call Jason Altmire about ENDA, these are some good points to bring up.